Jan 22, Colombo: The United States Embassy in Sri Lanka today said that it is disturbed by the series of threats and attacks against legal defenders, civil society organizations and activists who have spoken out on recent events.
Issuing a brief statement ahead of a visit by three high-ranking U.S. officials to the island, the Embassy pointed out that the "right to express opinions freely is universal and one that is protected under Sri Lankan law."
The Embassy urged the Sri Lankan government to "protect this fundamental right and ensure that all citizens are able to express their opinions without fear of retribution."
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Moore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Vikram Singh, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jane Zimmerman are scheduled to visit Sri Lanka and Maldives from January 26-February 1, 2013, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said earlier.
The officials are expected to hold discussions with senior government officials on the government's progress on implementing Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission recommendations and other issues.