Sri Lanka says no credible evidence for abuse charges

Aug 6, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka said Monday there was no credible evidence for a rights group’s claim that government forces were responsible for intensifying abuses on the island, such as unlawful killings and abductions. “These allegations are not based on credible evidence,” Sri Lanka’s defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said after the New York-based body Human Rights Watch issued a report detailing the allegations.

The rights group earlier Monday had said victim and eyewitness accounts indicated a “shocking” rise in such abuses since 18 months ago, when major fighting between the military and the Tamil Tiger rebels resumed.

“The Sri Lankan government has apparently given its security forces a green light to use ‘dirty war’ tactics,” Brad Adams, the group’s Asia director, said in a statement.

Rambukwella said the government was concerned about and investigated human rights abuses.

“I have not read the latest Human Rights Watch report, but, as a responsible government, we take every possible step to monitor rights abuses,” he told reporters.

Members of the minority, mainly Hindu Tamil community had suffered most of the abuses, Human Rights Watch said in its report entitled, “Return to War: Hu