Sri Lanka, U.S. in row over human rights report

March 14, 2008 (LBO) – The Sri Lankan government Friday said it had summoned the American envoy to protest against a critical U.S. human rights report but the US embassy said it was standing by the report. A Foreign Ministry statement said it “strongly protests” the U.S. State Department’s Human Rights Report which criticised Sri Lanka’s human right record.

“Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama today called in the U.S. Ambassador in Sri Lanka Robert Blake to register Sri Lanka’s serious concerns about the recently released U.S. State Department’s 2007 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Sri Lanka.”

“The report presents a distorted view of the actual situation in Sri Lanka during the year 2007 and is unfortunately a litany of unsubstantiated allegations, innuendo and vituperative exaggerations,” the statement said.

“It was noted that there was a suspicious similarity between the comments made in the report and the views expressed by those deliberately seeking to denigrate the Government of Sri Lanka.”

However, the U.S. embassy said in a statement that the U.S. stands by the human rights report.

“U.S. Ambassador Robert Blake and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogol