That those pursuing Sri Lanka on the human rights front were making an attempt to humiliate the country at the current sessions of the UNHRC, said Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
In an interview with The Island, he discussed the latest Channel 4 allegations, and many other issues, including the circumstances leading to the setting up of no fire zones on the Vanni east front in a bid to save civilian lives.
In detailed responses to allegations made by the Channel 4 video, and used by anti-Sri Lankan forces in moves to influence the current debate at the UNHRC in Geneva, the Defence Secretary showed how Sri Lanka had not carried out a war without transparency, with the UN, US, other countries and many INGOs involved in the humanitarian operations, which freed the Tamil civilians from the LTTE.
In fact we involved the Colombo-based diplomatic community in the relief efforts. The UN, US and several missions knew exactly what was going on in the Vanni he said
He refuted the allegation that civilians held, trapped in the conflict were denied food by the government, referring to frames in the Channel 4 video that showed World Food Programme (WFP) vehicles in the area. Of conflict.
The Defence Secretary said the documentary showed an undamaged trailer truck painted WFP on the background, at the scene of an alleged artillery attack… Despite severe difficulties, Sri Lanka provided food and medicine to those living in LTTE-held areas. The global community cannot deny us that credit. Throughout the Eelam war IV, we moved supplies to all areas, with the assistance of the international community. If we had decided to deny food to civilians, that WFP vehicle wouldn’t have been there. The C4 can easily contact the WFP in Colombo or its headquarters overseas to get a firsthand account of the situation. The WFP received substantial assistance through embassies in Colombo to rush food convoys to Vanni east. The WFP played a critical role in moving supplies in spite of great difficulties.
We lost some 6,000 officers and men during three-year-old final campaign. About 30,000 personnel received injuries. We could have avoided loss of many lives had we sustained heavy firepower throughout the campaign. Don’t forget about 12,000 ended up in detention camps at the conclusion of the conflict, though vast majority of them were free today. We believe those released after rehabilitation can tell the truth. The International Migration Organization is working with them. Apart from LTTE cadres, about 300,000 civilians (including children) are free today. A recently conducted census and an ongoing national census, once completed will help clear many misconceptions
For the text of the news item and interview of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa by Shamindra Ferdinando of The Island – today – March 17, 2012.visit: