2014-02-05T141323Z_1_CBREA1413IG00_RTROPTP_2_SRI-LANKA-US-RIGHTS

U.S. says Sri Lanka refuses visa for official after war crime accusations

Biswal, U.S. assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, gestures during a news conference in ColomboBy Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka has refused a visa request for a U.S. State Department official, the U.S. Embassy said on Tuesday, after Washington signaled it would propose a U.N. resolution against the South Asian state over alleged war crimes. However, Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Ministry said the embassy’s statement “was not a correct representation of the facts”, adding the dates for the proposed trip had not been convenient. Tensions rose after U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal voiced frustration on Saturday over Sri Lanka’s failure to punish military personnel responsible linked to reported atrocities in a civil war that the Colombo government won in 2009 against separatist Tamil rebels. Biswal, speaking after a two-day visit to Colombo, said Washington would put forward a third U.N. human rights resolution against Sri Lanka in March to address the allegations because its rights climate has been worsening.

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