The Straits Times
Published on Feb 05, 2013

Afghan deployment report causes stir in Sri Lanka


COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka said on Tuesday it had rejected a US request to send troops to Afghanistan but retracted the claim within hours, triggering angry responses on social media about the government's credibility.

"President Mahinda Rajapakse has rejected a call by US to send Lankan troops to Afghanistan," the government's information department said in an SMS news alert which was immediately rebroadcast by almost all local media outlets.

US diplomats in Colombo appeared puzzled over the Sri Lankan government claim and privately said that there was no pending request.

A couple of hours later, presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayake officially trashed the government's own claim.