The office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, in a statement posted on its website, said that the views expressed by former UN Colombo spokesman Gordon Weiss to an Australian television station do not represent the UN.
The UN Resident Coordinator says the overall view of the UN on any particular situation comes from statements by the Secretary General or other senior UN figures.
“A number of queries were made on Mr. Weiss’ comments on civilian casualties. The UN repeatedly and publicly said there were unacceptably high civilian casualties from the fighting in the last months of the war, as a result of the LTTE forcibly preventing people leaving and the Government’s use of heavy weapons in areas close to thousands of civilians. While we maintained internal estimates of casualties, circumstances did not permit us to independently verify them on the ground, and therefore we do not have verifiable figures of how many casualties there were,” the UN further added.
The UN Resident Coordinator’s office said it remains committed to supporting the Government of Sri Lanka in its efforts to rebuild communities and support peaceful solutions. (Daily Mirror online)