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Last updated: 21 December, 2010 - Published 13:22 GMT
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Sri Lanka rejects Wikileaks revelations

Minister Peiris in London (file photo by IISS)
Minister has expressed concern at a meeting with US Ambassador in Colombo
The Sri Lankan government has rejected cables purportedly coming from the US embassy in the country and published by Wikileaks, which quote allegations that Colombo perpetrated or was complicit in severe human rights abuses.

The government termed the allegations “mendacious” while also criticising what it said was the illegal publication of confidential information.

Sri Lanka’s rejection of last Thursday’s Wikileaks publications emerged at a meeting between its foreign minister, GL Peiris, and the US ambassador here, Patricia Butenis.

Professor Peiris cited specific allegations quoted in the cables – claims of children being sold to slavery, with boys to work in camps and girls in prostitution rings.

Child slavery

He described these and other claims as mendacious, unwarranted and “clearly fabricated to denigrate Sri Lanka”.

Wikileaks cables have revealed alleged child trafficking by pro-govt paramilitaries

Earlier this month the US embassy in Colombo said it strongly condemned the illegal disclosure of classified information.

It also said cables reflected “candid assessments” and did not represent US policy.

These apparent leaked cables on Sri Lanka – citing what were described as “trusted embassy sources” – dated from 2007 and contained condemnations of both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers.

They said the alleged child trafficking was carried out by paramilitaries supported by the government.

The Obama administration has been guardedly supportive of an internal Sri Lankan commission looking at the final years of the war.

Washington recently renewed a call for what it called “accountability” and a serious investigation into allegations that both sides in the civil war committed war crimes.

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