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United States eases military trade restrictions on Sri Lanka

The United States government has eased long-standing military trade restrictions imposed on Sri Lanka, the US Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) has announced.

 The DDTC confirmed on 4 May that licensing restrictions on defence exports to Sri Lanka had been lifted and that it will now review licence applications on a case-by-case basis. 

“Effective immediately the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) will review applications for licenses to export or temporarily import defense articles and defense services to or from Sri Lanka under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) on a case-by-case basis,” DDTC website said. 

The sanctions previously imposed on Sri Lanka were outlined in US appropriations acts in response to Sri Lanka’s civil war, which started in the early 1980s and ended in 2009.  The sanctions prohibited the use of US assistance to support defence exports but excluded transfers of equipment or services related to demining, disaster relief, and aerial and maritime surveillance. -Agencies
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