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7 Feb, 2014

Sri Lanka Hits Back at GloboCop, Denies Visa To Senior U.S. Official


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka Feb 4 (NNN-BERNAMA) — The Sri Lankan government has refused to issue a visa to U.S. ambassador at Large for Women’s Issues, Catherine Russell, forcing her to cancel a high-level visit scheduled for Feb 10-11.

“It is regrettable that the Sri Lankan government has refused to grant a visa to ambassador Catherine Russell for this trip,” Xinhua news agency quoted a U.S. embassy spokesman as telling local media.

Russell had planned to spend a day in Colombo and a day in Jaffna, and her agenda was to include meetings with government officials, the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus and women’s organisations from around Sri Lanka.

The ambassador’s visa application was officially submitted on Jan 27 and rejected on Jan 31. The U.S. official, a former senior White House aide, will be travelling in the region over the next week.

The Sri Lankan government is unhappy over remarks made in Colombo by U.S. assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal last week. Biswal had said that frustration and skepticism in the U.S. and international community over Sri Lanka’s lack of progress in probing the final days of its civil war have led to increasing calls for an international investigation.