Colombo "deliberately shelled civilians," accuses UN's departing Holmes
[TamilNet, Friday, 27 August 2010, 11:18 GMT]
United Nation's Human Rights Co-ordinator, John Holmes, in a parting shot at Colombo the end of his 3-year tenure at the UN, defended his department's funding of the Sri Lanka government's internment camps where more than 350,000 held for several months while admitting the Sri Lanka government may have “deliberately shelled” civilians and hospitals, Inner City Press reported.
When asked about criticism of Holme's and the UN's actions in Sri Lanka, for pulling out of Kilinochchi, funding the internment camps and failing even now to get to the bottom of the murder of the Action Contre La Faim humanitarian workers, Holmes called the killings in Trincomalee as the “ACF massacre,” and said it has still not been explained or even investigated. Holmes did not explain the Kilinochchi pull out, which has been criticized including the International Crisis Group, ICP said in the report.
Holmes said there's a need to know how many civilians were killed, when it was his OCHA unit which stopped reporting on civilians casualties when one of their reports was leaked to and published by Inner City Press.
Holmes referred to the “heavy propaganda claims on both sides.” It was not clear if, beyond side of the the government and “Sinhalese extremists” -- to use Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew's description of Mahinda Rajapaksa -- Holmes meant the LTTE Tamil Tigers, or the Tamil diaspora, ICP said.
In August 2008, after John Holmes said on a visit to Sri Lanka that the island had one of the worst records in the world for humanitarian aid worker safety and noted almost 30 aid workers had been killed over the past 18 months, Colombo government condemned Holmes as a “terrorist” and said he had been bribed by the Tamil Tigers to tarnish the country’s reputation.
10.03.09 U.N. funding Sri Lanka internment camps, withholds casualty ..
21.02.09 Holmes whitewashes Sri Lanka’s ‘slaughter’
15.08.07 Sri Lanka: ‘Holmes is a terrorist’