U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets Sri Lankan President Mathripala Sirisena in Colombo during a visit aimed at improving bilateral relations. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Secretary of State John Kerry met Sri Lankan President Mathripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during his Colombo visit on Saturday (May 2). Kerry said the United States wanted to renew ties with Sri Lanka and announced the start of an annual bilateral dialogue after years of tensions with the island nation's former government. Kerry arrived in the South Asian country earlier on Saturday, the first time in a decade that a U.S. secretary of state has visited Sri Lanka. Washington had years of tensions over human rights with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was unseated by Sirisena in a surprise election win in January. Sri Lanka had also tilted heavily towards China as Rajapaksa fell out with the West over human rights and allegations of war crimes at the end of the government's drawn-out conflict with Tamil separatists, which ended in 2009.