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Interview: No evidence of genocide or detention camp in Xinjiang, says Sri Lanka's foreign secretary

COLOMBO, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's Foreign Secretary Admiral Jayanath Colombage said that there is no evidence to support claims by some western politicians that "genocide" was committed against the Uighur community in China's Xinjiang.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, Colombage, who visited Xinjiang in 2019, noted that not a single terrorist attack had been carried out in Xinjiang over the past several years.

"I think that itself is a great achievement. And also that talk about genocide, I don't think I have seen any evidence to suggest this because genocide is a very strong word," Colombage said.

The official recalled visiting several sites in Urumqi and Kashgar and holding chats with the local people. "One thing I have seen in their eyes is that they have hope," he said.

"That is something very important for a country, for a region, not to lose hope, because I was told by some of these young people, that during the time of trouble, they did not have hope," he added.

Meanwhile, Colombage said young people in the area had high ambitions to pursue their careers, adding that the region boasts a mix of cultures.

People living there have the freedom to communicate as they want, and the Chinese government has taken efforts to preserve the local culture and market it as a tourist destination, he said.

Colombage said he was impressed by the facilities in the vocational training centers, where the local language is taught.

"To me, the vocational training centers look like full universities. They have a smart board, smart classrooms and all online teaching," said Colombage. "These are far from internment camps or concentration camps as alleged." Enditem