Sri Lanka on Saturday said it was ready to face another resolution against the country in the UN rights body over alleged war crimes during decades long civil war against the rebel Tamil Tigers.
“We have a big challenge in March. We are ready to face any challenge,” said Mahinda Samarasinghe, plantation minister and the country’s human rights envoy.
Addressing a gathering in central Kandy town, he said while facing the challenge in the UNHRC, Sri Lanka would not let its troops down. “We will neither betray the nation nor our gallant troops.” Samarasinghe said military had never committed any wrong while combating the rebel LTTE. “We all know what the LTTE did. They took as human shields 300,000 civilians. They fired at troops from among the civilians.”
The minister said, “It was true that the civilians were caught in the crossfire. The army was trying to crush terrorism. But the figure given as 40,000 killed was a lie”. He said it was not possible to take a count of the casualties during the final battle. “This false figure of 40,000 was given by a UN employee to help him sell a book”.
Sri Lanka has come under increasing international pressure to probe allegations of excessive civilian deaths during the final battle that ended in May 2009. A crucial UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka is coming up in March. Two previous resolutions backed by India were adopted in the council binding Sri Lanka for commitments in reconciliation and rights accountability issues. (PTI)