The New Zealand government has welcomed the peaceful elections in Sri Lanka and congratulated new president Maithripala Sirisena on his victory on Thursday's presidential election.
New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully welcomed the peaceful transition of power in Sri Lanka over the weekend, and congratulated President Sirisena on his victory in Thursday’s Presidential election.
"Over twelve million Sri Lankans cast their votes in a peaceful and orderly election on 8 January," Mr. McCully said.
"The election saw strong voter turnout and a clear result, which was respected by all sides. New Zealand congratulates the people of Sri Lanka for demonstrating their commitment to peace and stability."
Mr. McCully also commended the outgoing President Mahinda Rajapaksa for facilitating "a swift and orderly transfer of power" to President Sirisena.
"New Zealand and Sri Lanka have a close relationship, built on people-to-people links, dairy co-operation, and our shared love of cricket," the Foreign Minister noted.
"We look forward to working with President Sirisena on these issues and continuing to engage with Sri Lanka as the country moves towards reconciliation following the decades-long civil war," Mr. McCully said.
"New Zealand encourages President Sirisena to continue making progress in this area and the devolution of power to Tamil communities in the North of the country," he added.