Washington: The expiry of emergency regulations could be a significant step towards "normalizing life" for people of Sri Lanka, the US has said.

"The United States did welcome President Rajapaksa's proposal last week in Parliament that the emergency regulations will lapse at the end of August," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.

"We believe this could well be a significant step towards normalising life for the people of Sri Lanka," he said.

US also acknowledged the Lankan government for "rehabilitating and releasing more than 11,000 former LTTE combatants" who were taken prisoners at the end of the conflict.

"So we would just urge the government of Sri Lanka to charge or release those prisoners who are still held in custody. We have called on the government of Sri Lanka to look into allegations of human rights abuses in the past," Toner added.