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Ex UN spokesman drops a bomb

12 February 2010 01:53 am - 23     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The former UN spokesman in Colombo Gordon Weiss has stirred up controversy by claiming today that as many as many as 40,000 civilians could have been killed during the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war last year.

In an interview with Australia’s ABC news, Gordon Weiss also accused the government of saying things which were either “intentionally misleading, or were lies” and that the LTTE was also regularly killing civilians to prevent them from fleeing.

Mr Weiss has resigned from the UN after 14 years and returned home to Australia. He’s now free to speak openly about the situation in Sri Lanka, for the first time and does so candidly and unflinchingly in Foreign Correspondent’s return program.

He tells reporter ABC news that between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians died during the final, desperate battles - last year - of one of the world’s longest running and bloodiest civil wars.

“About 300,000 civilians, plus the Tamil Tiger forces, were trapped in an area of territory about the size of Central Park in New York,” says Weiss. “They were within range of all the armaments that were being used, small and large, being used to smash the Tamil Tiger lines … the end result was that many thousands lost their lives.”

Gordon Weiss says his information comes from reliable sources who had a presence inside the battle zone, not Tamil civilians or fighters.

"The Sri Lankan government said many things which were either intentionally misleading, or were lies", Weiss tells Campbell. He says that after the war ended, a senior civil servant openly admitted that the authorities had deliberately underestimated the number of trapped civilians “as a ploy to allow the government to get on with its business.”

He acknowledges that the Tamil Tiger forces were also regularly and ruthlessly killing people, to stop them from leaving the battle zones.


Link to video: http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/201002/r511492_2769388.asx

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  Comments - 23

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  • Friday, 12 February 2010 07:04 AM

    CAN YOU GIVE COUNT ON HOW MANY PEOPLE DIED IN AFGAN AND IRAQ WAR.... FIRST CLEAN YOUR OWN DIRT BEFORE YOU ASK OTHERS TO WASH THEIR DIRT

    Friday, 12 February 2010 07:17 AM

    Well all I can conclude from GW's comments is thats its 'hearsay'.He has a 'reliable source' not civilian or militants on whose information he has implicit faith without any verification.All I can say is GW has been employed to say such things or is suffering from some delusion which makes him believe whatever comes into his mind.His source is one where he has implicit unshakable faith in which is compared to anybody who has faith in God Almighty for example.It is likely that due to him leaving the UN he has found a new employer in the LTTE diaspora in Australia which is very active.Beware more revelations will come to satify his paymasters.

    Friday, 12 February 2010 07:17 AM

    Just imagine between 10000 to 40000 civilians killed!!
    The diference between the range is 30000. That it self showed he is not sure. This is the part of anti SL campaign.
    He is retaired man!! Who cares. Dont give pulicity these craps!

    Friday, 12 February 2010 07:23 AM

    Now, come on the so called patriots of "Ape Lanka". Start your cannon barrage & bombard with your comments.

    Friday, 12 February 2010 07:32 AM

    This person needs some attention of few more bucks in his pocket. So is speaking to his hearts desire regardless of the dignity of people in another sovereign country. Shame !! .. did any of us talk about what happen to children sent from UK to Australia in the past....

    Friday, 12 February 2010 07:33 AM

    Who said it's a bomb? It isn't! It's a known fact.

    Friday, 12 February 2010 07:39 AM

    10,000 to 40,000 what sort of statistics is that. normally a figure to be acceted a true it must be stated atleast 10% margin of error he has never been to school even for sheltering rain,

    Friday, 12 February 2010 07:40 AM

    No More SL VISA to you.

    Friday, 12 February 2010 07:42 AM

    Ok,Ok, Please understand, nobody can hide the truth for so long, and try the best to reconcile the communities other than speaking Jathivathaya. If Sf comes somehow, country would be towards a better position, but the situation again going worst

    Friday, 12 February 2010 07:53 AM

    Only the retired people can speak the truth in politics. What a world we live in

    Friday, 12 February 2010 08:10 AM

    So...killing 10000 is oki for you??? are you a human or what???

    Friday, 12 February 2010 10:27 AM

    Send Gota , Basil & Mahind to jail for war crime.

    Friday, 12 February 2010 10:28 AM

    All the time I was wandering who and who are giving plus and minus ratings to comments in DM web site. The ratings given above amply show the true identity of them. I am relieved that they are not true Sri Lankans.

    Friday, 12 February 2010 08:15 AM

    if he is speaking for LTTE then why did he tell that LTTE also killed the innocent people. the truth is you can not accept the truth.

    Friday, 12 February 2010 10:31 AM

    it was the best decision SL made to expel him . it's very clear now he has been a spoke person for ltte . ltte must have paid him well . as we know some UN officials were paid by ltte to be their mouthpiece . look at the way he has given those figurs 10000-40000 whom is he kidding

    Friday, 12 February 2010 08:32 AM

    It is true (your statement) probably there are two kinds of human being in this world. The one who believes one life is too many to lose to, Oppose to... Sadly.... are the other ones who think.... 10,000 is just a number. These are the ones who also say ......How about Afghan, Iraq...etc.? There is no humanity left in this world..

    Friday, 12 February 2010 08:33 AM

    He has to say that to show he is balanced but it does not matter as the Ltte military is dead so he can refer to them but SL state is very much alive hence it is the SL govt he can harm by his false comments whilst certain that he can cause no damage to the already dead ltte outfit. Why dont you think for yourself.

    Friday, 12 February 2010 08:36 AM

    I found something very interesting when I searched for this Gordon on internet.

    On May 19th 2009 CNN website reports that the SAME person has been commenting on civilian blood bath during the final war.

    THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME.

    Now we know who he really wanted to save.

    Friday, 12 February 2010 08:40 AM

    rahim, what is odd is the range. no one under estimates the killing of a human. but these lies will only tarnish the image of sri lanka who's just trying to breath some fresh air..

    Friday, 12 February 2010 08:44 AM

    Accept the truth and reconcile, just like the Truth Commission in South Africa.
    Being in denial and spewing hatred will get us nowhere.

    Friday, 12 February 2010 08:44 AM

    End of the day , he is better off than Mangala, Mano & JVP

    Friday, 12 February 2010 08:44 AM

    Image Of who .........

    Friday, 12 February 2010 06:39 PM

    ... It's nothing but the BITTER TRUTH.


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