SL Prez wants campaign to counter negative reports

Sri Lanka garnered negative attention over accusations of rights abuses, which the government terms as Western-backed propaganda.

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, feels an effective pro-Sri Lanka campaign through a strong communication network is needed for his government to counter the adverse publicity generated overseas due to allegations of human rights violations.

The country has garnered much negative attention over accusations of rights abuses, which the government terms as Western-backed propaganda.

However, Rajapaksa is mindful of the adverse publicity this has generated internationally. Addressing a group Sri Lankan expats from the European Union and Australia, the president said, there was little point in trying to counter the "false propaganda" against the country in international fora.

Instead there must be an effective pro-Sri Lanka campaign led by the expat community, the president said, according to presidential officials.

Rajapaksa`s comments come in the backdrop of Sri Lanka becoming the focus of attention of rights watch groups over the alleged rights abuses during the last phase of the military battle with the LTTE.

Sri Lanka says, the recent campaign by television ‘channel 4, showing alleged war crimes, was instigated by the pro-LTTE diaspora.

The ‘channel 4’ documentary showed visuals of government troops executing LTTE members but the government said, it was a doctored footage, and the real video actually showed soldiers being killed by the LTTE.

PTI

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