The opposition has said an interview to Daily Mirror online by a top aide to President Mahinda Rajapaksa shows the government has misled the UN over the use of heavy weapons during the final stages of fighting against the LTTE last year, AFP reported.
Former foreign minister and key opposition leader Mangala Samaraweera seized on the disclosure by Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, who told Daily Mirror online this week that the use of heavy weapons was eventually stopped as part of a political deal with the Indian government.
The statement “indicates that despite claims to the contrary, both to the public of this country and to (the) UN... in February 2009, in fact the government had sanctioned the use of heavy weapons until April, when the Indian general election was in full swing,” Samaraweera said in a statement, according to AFP.
Weeratunga said neighbouring India had asked for a complete halt in the offensive because it affected Tamil votes in southern India during national elections last year.
The UN estimates that at least 7,000 civilians were killed in the first four months of last year as Sri Lankan troops moved to finish off the Tigers, who had fought for an independent Tamil homeland since 1972.