Lanka slams US for issuing `alarmist` travel advisory

Sri Lanka today slammed the US for creating "false and alarmist" view of its internal situation and dismissed Washington`s perception about increasing anti-western sentiment in the country.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 11, 2014, 21:00 PM IST

Colombo: Sri Lanka today slammed the US for creating "false and alarmist" view of its internal situation and dismissed Washington`s perception about increasing anti-western sentiment in the country.

Reacting to a travel advisory issued by the US on August 8, the External Affairs Ministry said, "There have been no instances of violent protests targeting the US Embassy, its diplomats, officials or citizens, though claimed by the US State Department`s Security Message that such incidents could occur."

It dismissed the US` perception that there is increasing anti-western sentiment in Sri Lanka.
The US had issued travel warning after an opposition party staged a protest outside its embassy in Colombo over Israeli actions in Gaza.

In the statement, the US had said, "Since early 2014 there has been an increase in protests in Sri Lanka including those that have turned violent. Anti-western demonstrations against the US and the UN and the recent escalation in Gaza are also on the rise.

"In addition there is increased pressure on non-governmental organisations, journalists and others affiliated with US projects and civil society meetings have been disrupted."

Rejecting the US` contention about anti-western incidents in the country as miseleading, the Foreign Ministry said, "The law enforcement authorities in Sri Lanka have taken necessary action consistently to ensure the safety and security of diplomats, their families, premises and property in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and continue this practice diligently."

It said a significant number of US citizens live in Sri Lanka and also visit the island every year and there have not been any reports of their safety and security being challenged.

The US in the recent weeks has been critical of the disruption of civil society activities funded and supported by it in Sri Lanka.

Colombo has repeatedly confronted Western nations over rights issues, especially over allegations that its forces killed at least 40,000 Tamil civilians in the final months of the war between the military and the LTTE fighting for a Tamil homeland.