US Senate want to make sure that we’re not throwing away the investments we’ve already made in Sri Lanka

The Senate Committee on Appropriations approved the FY2018 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill with $51.35 billion for diplomatic and humanitarian programs that strengthen U.S. national security and support American values abroad. “The serious challenges to U.S. national security interests today heighten our need to fund the diplomatic and humanitarian programs that strengthen our posture around the world.  This bill provides the funding for the Department of State and related agencies to carry out that work,” said Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran


(1) BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE.—Of 23 the funds appropriated by this Act under the heading ‘‘Economic Support Fund’’, not less than 25 $35,000,000 shall be made available for assistance for Sri Lanka for economic development and democracy programs, particularly in areas recovering from 3 ethnic and religious conflict: Provided, That such funds shall be made available for programs to assist 5 in the identification and resolution of cases of missing persons.

(2) CERTIFICATION.—Funds appropriated by this Act for assistance for the central Government of  Sri Lanka may be made available only if the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the Commit- 11 tees on Appropriations that the Government of Sri 12 Lanka is

 (A) repealing laws that do not comply with  international standards for arrest and detention, and ensuring that any successor legislation meets such standards;

(B) increasing accountability and transparency in governance;

(C) supporting a credible justice mechanism in compliance with United Nations  Human Rights Council Resolution (A/HCR/30/ 22 L.29) of October, 2015;

(D) returning land in former conflict zones  to former owners or compensating those whose  land was confiscated without due process, which is in addition to steps taken during the previous 2 calendar year;

(E) establishing a functioning office of  missing persons and publishing lists of all persons who surrendered to such Government at the end of the war; and

(F) redeploying the armed forces out of former conflict zones and restructuring and reducing the size of the armed forces.

(3) INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE.— Funds appropriated under title IV of this Act that are available for assistance for Sri Lanka shall be subject to the following conditions.

(A) not to exceed $500,000 under the  heading ‘‘Foreign Military Financing Program’’ may only be made available for programs to  support humanitarian and disaster response efforts; to redeploy out of former conflict zones; and to restructure and reduce the size of the Sri Lankan armed forces; and

 (B) funds under the heading ‘‘Peace- keeping Operations’’ may only be made available for training and equipment related to international peacekeeping operations. (US Senate)

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