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Sri Lanka slams U.S. rights report

[Reuters, Tuesday, 16 March 2010 09:39 No Comment]

Sri Lanka dismissed a U.S. State Department report on Monday accusing it of violating citizens’ rights, saying the allegations were unsubstantiated and based on reports by unnamed sources.

The State Department’s annual human rights survey faulted both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger separatists in the island’s 25-year-civil war which ended last year.

It said government forces and the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam used excessive force and committed abuses against civilians.

"The document is a conflation of historical background, repetition of statements in earlier reports, unverified assertions of facts and broad generalizations," said a statement by the Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights.

The ministry said the allegations were based on "reports that are mainly attributed to anonymous NGO’s, international sources, human rights groups, observers and other unnamed sources."

Rights groups and Western governments are pressing for some kind of accountability for thousands of civilian deaths in the last months of the war against the LTTE, which aimed to create a separate homeland for the island’s Tamil minority.

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