By Dianne Silva
The government said today that former UN spokesman in Colombo Gordon Weiss was spreading false information, about the last stages of the war. “That is absolutely wrong information,” Director General of the Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hullugalle told Daily Mirror.
Weiss stirred up controversy by telling ABC news that as many as many as 40,000 civilians could have been killed during the final stages of the war, last year.
Hullugalle stated that there was sufficient information provided at the time and months thereafter to confirm that such a large number of civilian deaths did not occur. “We were able to show journalists through live footage how the LTTE were harassing civilians and how we were ensuring the safe passage of civilians,” he said.
Gordon Weiss said his information came from reliable sources that had a presence inside the battle zone, not Tamil civilians or fighters. However Hullugalle insists that no other organizations made such claims in the past 8 months since the war. “There were so many foreign and local journalists allowed in those areas. Therefore if there is any truth in this no one would have waited 8 months to talk about it. And we have had no such complaints coming from any organization,” he told Daily Mirror.
Meanwhile Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama rejected all claims made by the former spokesperson and stated that Mr.Weiss had previously made such false statements. “He is someone who has been making such false statements and we wholly reject these claims. He is also someone who has been sent out of the country,” Bogollagama said.
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.
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
Mr Weiss has resigned from the UN after 14 years and returned home to