Lankan govt rejects allegations of using cluster bombs during civil war

Colombo : The Sri Lankan government has rejected allegations that the Sri Lankan Army used cluster bombs during the final phases of the war and questioned the authenticity of the report published in the media.

Co-Cabinet Spokesperson and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne at a cabinet briefing at the Government Information Department on Wednesday questioned the veracity of the “photographic evidence” published in The Guardian newspaper on Monday.

Senaratne said those pictures are unverified and questioned how they can prove that they are from the Army or the LTTE.

“Does it have the Sri Lanka Army stamp on it?” Colombo Page quoted Senaratne as saying.

He also questioned the timing of publishing of photographs saying “why the photographs were published now, coinciding with the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.”

He asked why it took six years after the war when the demining was completed to produce the ‘photographic evidence”, which is reportedly provided to The Guardian by a former employee of the UK-based demining group Halo Trust.

Deputy Minister, Karunaratne Paranavithana pointed out it was unethical for de-miners to reveal details of their work and added the published pictures don’t say they are from Sri Lanka.

The Guardian report said the images that appear to confirm the use of cluster bombs in the end stages of the civil war have been uncovered and suggested that the armed forces may have deployed the munition against civilians. (ANI)