The US has eased restrictions on defence sales to Sri Lanka to allow exports of equipment for aerial and maritime surveillance.
The State Department enacted the changes yesterday, just as the UN Human Rights Council urged Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of war crimes during its civil conflict that ended in 2009.
The department said the two developments were unrelated.
It may, however, help ease strains in the bilateral relationship.
The export restrictions date back to the start of the civil conflict in the 1980s.
The new exceptions allow exports, on a case-by-case basis, of equipment such as unarmed patrol boats, light aircraft, cameras, and related components.