Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sri Lanka rejects U.N. allegations on civilian deaths

Sri Lanka's government rejected on Saturday U.N. allegations that soldiers had killed more than 2,800 civilians as unsubstantiated and based on sources allied with the LTTE.

Colombo's angry reaction came after U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Friday that both sides may have committed war crimes, and soldiers had shelled no-fire zones and areas packed with thousands of civilians.

"We are not only disappointed, we are dismayed," Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told a press conference. "These are unsubstantiated figures."

Pillay in her statement on Friday said her office had received evidence of shelling deaths from "a range of credible sources" she did not name.

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