COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s main opposition party, United National Party (UNP), has asked the Mahinda Rajapaksa government to investigate the oft-repeated internationally made charge that too many people were killed in the last phase of Eelam War IV. “The statement of Hon Navin Dissanayake (a minister) that 10,000 civilian casualties was a ‘necessary sacrifice’ requires a further investigation,” UNP chief Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a statement here on Friday.
Commenting in detail on the report of the government’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) ahead of the UN Human Rights Commission’s session in Geneva beginning on February 27, Wickremesinghe pointed out that the LLRC had not even thought it fit to call minister Dissanayake to give evidence before it. “Unfortunately, the findings of the commission do not answer the question whether a reasonable effort was made to limit the destruction and damage,” he said.
“The displacement of hundreds of thousands from their homes, the deaths of a large number of civilians, the destruction of private property and the wholesale disappearance of village communities, is a national trauma which will haunt us for a long time and will be in our memories, especially Tamils’, for many generations to come,” Wickremesinghe said.
On the controversial British Channel 4 video, the UNP leader said the government should set up a nationally and internationally “credible” mechanism to investigate the truth of the charge of wanton killings by the Lankan forces in the last phase of Eelam War IV.