Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement on 9 January on Maithripala Sirisena’s victory in the presidential elections in Sri Lanka:
I would like to congratulate Maithripala Sirisena on his victory in the presidential elections. We wish him a sure hand and every success in implementing his political agenda for a peaceful, democratic and inclusive Sri Lanka.
I welcome the fact that the election was conducted in a largely peaceful and smooth manner and that the turnout was high. It is good that the citizens of Sri Lanka made their way in such great numbers to the polls in order to exercise their right to vote.
The fact that the previous incumbent, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has admitted defeat in the elections and cleared the way for a peaceful and democratic transition deserves respect and recognition.
In addition to offering my congratulations, I am hopeful for a fresh start in politics with momentum for a fundamental reconciliation of ethnic groups. Six years after the end of the civil war, there is now a real chance to reimbue Sri Lanka’s great religious and ethnic diversity – a hallmark of the country – with energy and vitality in a spirit of solidarity.