Sri Lanka threatens to expel diplomats

April 18, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka warned Wednesday it may expel foreign diplomats who meddle in the island’s internal affairs and said at least one unnamed envoy was being investigated.

The threat comes amid growing international criticism of Sri Lanka’s human rights record and Colombo’s resistance to suggestions that United Nations monitors should be sent to the island.

Sri Lanka’s government has also been highly critical of international non-governmental organisations and often accuses them of supporting Tamil Tiger guerrillas.

Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said several diplomats were interfering in local politics and action was being taken against at least one.

He noted that the country had deported the former British high commissioner (ambassador) David Gladstone in August 1991 after he complained to local police about election rigging.

“We will not compromise our sovereignty and we will take action against anyone exceeding their mandate and meddling in our affairs,” said Rambukwella. More than 4,000 people have been killed since December 2005 as fighting between government troops and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels escalated despite a truce that is in place s