" The US embassy statement strongly urges the government to enforce the rule of law and permit citizens to exercise their most basic human rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. "
Colombo, Aug 5 - The US has told Sri Lanka to enforce the rule of law, after a mob disrupted a meeting of families of disappeared people also attended by American diplomats.

The US embassy said angry protesters including Buddhist monks forced their way into the meeting on the grounds of a Colombo Catholic church Monday.

Families of those who disappeared in the ethnic conflict were sharing their stories with civil society groups and members of the diplomatic community when the disruption took place.

The mob shouted hateful slogans, made unfounded accusations, and behaved threateningly towards the families of the disappeared, an embassy statement said.

These protesters were not exercising their right to peaceful protest, but rather were disrupting a peaceful gathering of conflict survivors, including children.

The strong impression was that the protesters were seeking to intimidate and silence those in attendance.

The US embassy statement strongly urges the government to enforce the rule of law and permit citizens to exercise their most basic human rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

We also call on the government to take all possible steps to ensure the safety of families who had traveled from the north to attend this meeting, both in Colombo and upon their return home.


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