Monday, June 1, 2009

Sri Lanka: Ban strongly rejects UN as source of casualty reports

1 June 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated his strong concerns over “unacceptably high” civilian casualties in the conflict between the Sri Lankan Government and Tamil rebels, while rejecting in the strongest terms any figure attributed to the United Nations.

Briefing the General Assembly today on his recent visit to Sri Lanka and other travels, Mr. Ban said media reports alleging that some 20,000 civilians may have been killed during the last phase of the conflict “do not emanate from the UN and most are not consistent with the information at our disposal.”

Last month, Sri Lanka’s Government declared that its military operation against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was over, ending more than two decades of fighting.

“I categorically reject – repeat, categorically – any suggestion that the United Nations has deliberately under-estimated any figures,” the Secretary-General underscored.

“Let me also say, whatever the total, the casualties in the conflict were unacceptably high – as I have also said repeatedly,” he added.

>> Full Story: UN

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