Sri Lanka's government has criticized a call by European ambassadors for a peaceful and credible presidential election next week.

European Union heads of mission in Colombo said in a statement Friday that the people should be able to choose their leader without violence or fear.

The external affairs ministry accused the ambassadors of intervening in the country's domestic affairs and said the statement called into question their sincerity and objectivity.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is seeking a third term in office in next Thursday's election. His main challenger is his former health minister. The campaign has been acrimonious and there have been reports of violence.