2ND LEAD (Adds details)

Lies, responds Colombo, to accusations of "lying, misleading"

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 February 2010, 13:38 GMT]
Responding to accusations by a former United Nations spokesperson, Gordon Weiss, that up to 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the last battle, and that Sri Lanka was making statements that were "intentionally misleading or were lies," Sri Lanka's Director for the Media Centre for National Security, General Laxman Hulugalle, told a Colombo daily “[t]hat [Weiss's statement] is absolutely wrong information; Gordon Weiss was spreading false information, about the last stages of the war.”

Gordon Weiss, former UN spokesperson
Gordon Weiss, former UN spokesperson
Rohitha Bogollagama
Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama
Lakshman Hulugalla
Lakshman Hulugalla
The paper quoted Hulugalle as saying "there was sufficient information provided at the time and months thereafter to confirm that such a large number of civilian deaths did not occur. We were able to show journalists through live footage how the LTTE were harassing civilians and how we were ensuring the safe passage of civilians."

Hulugalle insists that no other organizations made such claims in the past 8 months since the war, the paper said, quoting “[t]here were so many foreign and local journalists allowed in those areas. Therefore if there was any truth in this no one would have waited for 8 months to talk about it. And we have had no such complaints coming from any organization."

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama rejected all claims made by the former UN spokesperson saying Mr.Weiss had previously made such false statements. “He is someone who has been making such false statements and we wholly reject these claims. He is also someone who has been sent out of the country,” Bogollagama said.

While Hulugalle asserts that "so many foreign and local journalists allowed in those areas," media ban by Sri Lanka was widely known and was reported by AFP in April, quoting the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF), "[i]t is a disgrace that this war is being waged without independent journalists present...With a major humanitarian crisis and war crimes clearly taking place, the government must heed the international community?s calls for a ceasefire and for better access for humanitarian workers and journalists."

At the end of the last battle in May, British daily The Times reported that "UN chief knew Tamil civilian toll had reached 20,000," and that "UN officials told Vijar Nambiar, Ban Ki Moon’s chief of staff, that their figures indicated a likely final death toll of more than 20,000, during a briefing in preparation for Mr Ban’s visit to the region on May 23."

In a recently concluded war-crimes hearing in Dublin Ireland "[h]arrowing evidence including video footage was submitted by eye witnesses of the use of heavy artillery and phosphorous munitions, and of the continuous violation of human rights by military activity," to a panel of 10 international jurors over two days.

More than 20 eye-witnesses who endured the final days of war and managed to escape Sri Lanka, provided in-camera evidence to the panel of jurors.


Related Articles:
16.01.10   Dublin verdict: Sri Lanka guilty of War Crimes
28.08.09   Horrendous video images indicate violation of International ..
24.08.09   4 Vanni doctors released on conditional bail
24.07.09   Chomsky: Sri Lanka, a Rwanda-like major atrocity the West di..
11.07.09   Amnesty calls for war crimes probe after doctors paraded
10.07.09   The Times calls for world boycott of Sri Lanka over detainee..
25.06.09   Colombo’s concentration camps compared with Hitler’s in NZ p..
11.06.09   Neelson accuses NGO of supporting "dictatorship masquerading..
10.06.09   Bob Rae denied entry to Sri Lanka - report
08.06.09   International war crimes probe needed in Sri Lanka – Japan T..
04.06.09   Sri Lanka rejects probes into slaughter of Tamil civilians
30.05.09   The Times demands action over ‘monstrous collusion’ in slaug..
30.05.09   Evidence points to Colombo culpability to Tamil massacre - W..
30.05.09   UN Officials complicit in aiding, abetting GoSL's Nazi-type ..
29.05.09   UN concealed carnage to keep Sri Lanka goodwill – Le Monde
29.05.09   20,000 Tamil civilians massacred by Sri Lanka – The Times
16.05.09   Stench of dead bodies permeate Vanni, wounded allowed to die..
24.04.09   Civilian casualties top 20,000 in Vanni: Leaked UN document

External Links:
AFP: Sri Lankan media ban 'a disgrace': rights group
NYT: Sri Lanka Disputes Report of 20,000 Dead
Reuters: Sri Lanka May Need Gaza - Style Rights Inquiry: U.N.
Guardian: Sri Lanka: Access denied
NYT: Reports Press Sri Lanka on Possible War Atrocities
Times: UN chief knew Tamil civilian toll had reached 20,000
SMH: Attack killed 20,000 Tamils: UN
CNN: Video shows purported atrocities in Sri Lanka conflict
Guardian: Tamils rail under Sri Lanka's heel
The Guardian: Video: Damilvany's story
BBC: Sri Lanka doctors 'to be tried'
Times: Sri Lankan war crimes video is authentic, Times investigation finds


Latest 15 Reports
20.07.18 22:09   Photo
New Delhi fails to update Jaffna on Palaali airport plans
19.07.18 23:22   Photo
Skulls with bullet-like holes excavated in Mannaar mass grave, women and children among victims
18.07.18 19:21   Photo
Uprooted Mu'l'lik-ku'lam Tamils adopt Ira'nai-theevu approach, enter their lands seized by SL Navy
17.07.18 21:29   Photo
Colombo steps up shadow war against NPC Chief Minister Wigneswaran
16.07.18 22:48   Photo
SL Forest Department seizes agricultural lands of Eezham Tamils in Paduvaan-karai
15.07.18 19:14   Photo
Families of enforced disappeared vehemently oppose OMP sittings in North
14.07.18 19:35  
SL High Court in Vavuniyaa tricked again into postponing hearings on TPP case
13.07.18 23:20   Photo
NPC CM declines participation in Colombo's unilateral task force for so-called Development
12.07.18 12:22   Photo
Genocidal Sri Lanka seizes ancient coastal hamlet of Tamil-speaking aborigines in Trincomalee
11.07.18 18:20  
Collaborationist sections of TNA lose significance, Wigneswaran holds key to unified Tamil polity
10.07.18 21:53  
SL Military Intelligence recommences recruitment of notorious ex-paramilitary operatives
09.07.18 22:30   Photo
Antiquities Ordinance used to justify Sinhalicisation of 48 locations in Mullaiththeevu
08.07.18 19:06   Photo
TNPF protests against Colombo's move to militarise Jaffna Fort
07.07.18 19:56   Photo
SL Police in Champoor blocks remembrance of Tamils massacred by SL military
06.07.18 23:17  
Jaffna University silent to Colombo's pressure, motives behind Fort excavation questioned
Find this article at: