Clarifying the status of its military presence in Sri Lanka, the United States said the references in the press to U.S. Special Forces being stationed in the country are misleading.
Issuing a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said the members of the U.S. military are assigned to work in the Embassy in Colombo as part of the bilateral engagement between the United States and Sri Lanka.
"The Embassy Defense Attaché is the lead representative for the U.S. Department of Defense and those assigned to that office support programs and training that enhance cooperation," the statement said.
"Through U.S. Pacific Command, the Embassy has contributed US$9 million since 2009 toward projects such as renovating and rebuilding hospitals and schools in communities across Sri Lanka. The U.S. military has recently participated in joint programs with Sri Lanka such as the Pacific Airlift Rally and Joint/Combined Exchange Training for medical and humanitarian assistance."
The Sri Lanka Air Force co-hosted the Pacific Airlift Rally 2011 with the Pacific Air Command of the United State Air Force in Colombo last August.