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* Sri Lanka to question US Embassy over envoy's allegations of army shelling
Fri, Jan 10, 2014, 09:11 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 10, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government said it will question the United States Embassy in Colombo over the allegations made by US diplomats in social media that army shelling killed hundreds of families in the North during the final stage of the war.

Secretary to the External Affairs Ministry Karunatilaka Amunugama told local media that an inquiry would be made regarding the photographs posted on the social media site Twitter by the US Embassy in an official capacity.

The US Embassy Thursday on its official Twitter site posted a photo of the US Ambassador Michele Sison and the visiting Ambassador-at-large of War Crimes Stephen J. Rapp inspecting a site called "St. Anthony's Ground" with a caption that read "St Anthany's Ground - site of Jan 2009 killing of hundreds of families by army shelling."

Secretary Amunugama said that a query would be made as to the basis on which these details had been published.

External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris is expected to discuss the matter with the visiting Ambassador when he meets the US envoy.

An Information Officer for the US Embassy has told the local news agency Ada Derana the tweet was sent on an official capacity but there is no new additional evidence to back the claim.

The military rejected the US Embassy's allegation saying that the US is laying grounds to bring an international tribunal against Sri Lanka and the allegations could be part of a much larger campaign that US intends to launch in the near future.

The visiting U.S. official yesterday has assured the major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance, that the US would move a third resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council session in March calling for an international probe on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, according to the TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran.

Rapp, who arrived in Sri Lanka Monday on a five-day visit, is currently touring the North with Ambassador Sison. He is scheduled to meet officials, religious and civil society leaders, and Tamil party politicians to discuss Sri Lanka's alleged rights violations and progress in reconciliation.

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