The Ministry of Defence is to publish a comprehensive report regarding the civilian casualties that occurred during the last stages of the humanitarian operation.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that allegations of unaccountability of civilian casualties during the war were unfounded and absurd. “In any civil conflict there will be civilian casualties and that has to be accepted, however, the government was very clear in its Zero Civilian casualty policy,” he said.
The Defence Secretary further elaborated that due to the governments Zero Civilian casualty policy the civilian deaths that occurred during the war was minimal. “Casualties are bound to happen in any conflict, especially so when civilians are used as human shields, but the policy of the government was clear which was zero civilian casualties, and preserving civilian life was the main objective which lasted from the start to the end of the humanitarian operation,” he said.
The outspoken secretary went on to explain that the number provided by various groups with regard to civilian casualties were unfounded. “The government has the responsibility to clearly ascertain the civilian casualties which the government embarked in a very professional manner. We have assigned the department of census to conduct a comprehensive investigation on the casualties in the areas, which are in question,” The Defence Secretary pointed out.
Rajapaksa went on to state that the census on civilian casualties is complete, “The government has conducted a comprehensive census and now it’s complete and they are preparing the final report which will be released in the near future, beyond a doubt I can tell you that the civilian casualties are nowhere near the amounts claimed.”
The secretary went on to point out that, the civilian casualties that have been reported to debase all allegations of genocide by the LTTE international arms. “The numbers are too small to give any credential to absurd accusations of genocide. The census however does not include death due to natural causes, individuals killed by the LTTE due to resistance, individuals who were forcibly recruited and were killed, LTTE cadres, deaths due to accidents and those who fled the country illegally. It is the remaining number that the Military can take responsibility for,” he said. (Supun Dias and Hafeel Farisz)
Initially it was, zero causality, now, Zero Causality policy, and civil casualties are expected..how many civilians were killed and by whom, only God Knows......Almost 3 years since the war is over, how much we have reconciled...? how much harmony we have brought within the communities? how much grievances were addressed? Long way to go...............
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