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* Sri Lanka dismisses US State Department country report
Mon, Mar 15, 2010, 08:34 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Disaster Management and Human Rights Ministry today (15) dismissed a US State Department report accusing it of containing allegations that were unsubstantiated and based on reports by unnamed sources and of violating citizens' rights.

"The document is a conflation of historical background, repetition of statements in earlier reports, unverified assertions of facts and broad generalizations," a statement issued by the Ministry said.

According to the Ministry, the allegations were based on "reports that are mainly attributed to anonymous NGO's, international sources, human rights groups, observers and other unnamed sources."

"The report also clearly sets out to speculate on opposition claims of a LTTE pact and a bribe given by President Rajapaksa's campaign. This is totally unacceptable and smacks of a political agenda being played out. This is further proof of the unprofessional and a subjective nature of the report," the Ministry highlighted.

"It has also been noted that the report, which is ostensibly based on the realization of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the benchmark, completely ignores the socioeconomic rights enshrined in Articles 25 and 26 of the Declaration," it said.

The US State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released last Thursday faulted both the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE in the island's 25-year-civil war which ended last year. It said government forces and the defeated LTTE used excessive force and committed abuses against civilians.

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