The United States government has eased military trade restrictions imposed on Sri Lanka for over eight years, the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) announced.
In a web notice, DDTC said the licensing restrictions relating to Sri Lanka listed in Consolidate Appropriations Acts for previous years were not carried forward for 2016.
The DDTC said effective immediately, it will review applications for licenses to export or temporarily import defence articles and defence services to or from Sri Lanka under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) on a case-by-case basis.
In 2008, the Department of State amended the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) regarding Sri Lanka, to make it United States policy to deny licenses and other approvals to export or otherwise transfer defence articles and defence services to Sri Lanka except, on a case-by-case basis, for technical data or equipment made available for the limited purposes of maritime and air surveillance and communications. The rule went into effect from 24 March, 2008.
The U.S. - Sri Lanka relations, deteriorated during the previous government, are improving as the island nation has made significant progress in human rights, media freedom and ethnic reconciliation since the election of President Maithripala Sirisena in January 2015.