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Sri Lanka bars US women's rights envoy: Official

Published on Feb 4, 2014 4:30 PM

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka has refused a top US women's rights official entry to the country, just days after another senior envoy alleged Colombo's rights record was deteriorating, the US embassy said on Tuesday.

US ambassador at large for women's issues Catherine Russell was due to visit Sri Lanka ahead of a United Nations Human Rights Council meeting next month at which Colombo is due to face fresh censure.

A US embassy spokesman said it was "regrettable" that Colombo had refused to grant ambassador Russell a visa for the planned visit this month.

"Ambassador Russell's mandate is to promote stability, peace, and development by empowering women politically, socially, and economically around the world," the spokesman said.

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