Updated April 25, 2019​ 

Sri Lanka Express

No New Year greetings from USA to Sri Lankans this year!

Hassina Leelarathna
The US State Department dropped Sri Lanka from its list for this year’s Lunar New Year greetings.

Sri Lankans at home and abroad celebrated the Sinhala & Hindu New Year April 13 & 14. 

Lao, Khmer, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar who share the same New Year each received the traditional greeting on April 12 from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.  For some reason, Sri Lanka was dropped.

Sri Lanka first started getting New Year well wishes in 2010, when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.  Since then, with the exception of 2011,  the State Department, under Mrs. Clinton and her successor Secretary John Kerry, has not failed to extend New Year greetings to Sri Lanka.  

The State Department under the new Trump administration also failed to send Independence Day greetings to Sri Lanka in February this year.     

Are these omissions deliberate slights or simple mistakes by incoming new staff?   I tried to find out, but no one answered the phone at the Sri Lanka desk and voicemail was not returned. 

If it’s any consolation, Washington did not send greetings for the Chinese New Year which fell on January 28 this year -- the most important celebration in the world’s most populous nation.  This despite Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping having sent a congratulatory letter to President Trump on his inauguration.

Later, White House spokesman Sean Spicer disclosed that Mr. Trump had sent a note to the Chinese leader thanking him for the congratulatory letter and wishing the Chinese people a happy Year of the Rooster.  

Considering that it was eleven days past the Chinese New Year, it was nothing to crow about.
   Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
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