President rejects Afghanistan troops story

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has rejected a story made public by the government information department that he had received a request from the United States to send troops to Afghanistan.
Mohan Samaranayake, the spokesman for the President, told the Colombo Gazette that the President has neither received nor rejected a request from the US to send troops to the former war torn country.
The government information department had earlier in the day said that the President had rejected a request by the United States to send troops to Afghanistan.
Samaranayake refused to comment when asked how the government information department could send out wrong news.
Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, both SAARC members, had last December agreed to expand political and economic ties and cooperate in defense and education.
The US government was reported to have made a similar request for troops from Sri Lanka in 2009 but the government had rejected the request at that time.
A Wikileaks cable made public in October 2011 said that the government was concerned about the implications sending troops to Afghanistan will have with the Muslim community in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan troops are already serving in Haiti and more troops are sent to the region every year to boost UN led peacekeeping operations. (Colombo Gazette)
Report by Easwaran Rutnam