Sri Lanka ‘concerned’ over UN statement on attacks

June 12th, 2008 - 12:21 am ICT by IANS  

Colombo, June 11 (IANS) Sri Lanka Wednesday “called in” the acting UN resident coordinator here to the Foreign Office and “expressed serious concerns” over a recent statement of UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Sir John Holmes on a series of bomb attacks targeting civilians, blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels. A statement from the foreign ministry said that Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona during his interaction with Amin Awad, the acting UN resident coordinator, expressed Sri Lanka’s concern for not identifying perpetrators for the bomb attack on civilians.

“It was pointed out that neither the statement of Sir John nor the reported remarks of Neil Buhne, the UN resident coordinator in Sri Lanka, had identified the perpetrator of the series of the massacres,” the statement said.

“The killing of civilians was condemned (by the UN office) only in general terms, which conveyed to the uninformed that the Government of Sri Lanka was somehow responsible for such attacks,” it said.

According to the statement, the foreign secretary also “informed Mr. Awad that it is incomprehensible that the UN which condemned at the highest level the killing of Kaushalyan, a terrorist leader, found it difficult to condemn the LTTE for its deliberate and targeted bomb attacks, which have claimed the lives of dozens of innocent civilians”.

Holmes in a statement May 29 said that over 200 civilian lives had been lost in bombings since the beginning of this year both in the government-held areas and the LTTE-held areas and condemned the continuing targeting of civilians in the island nation.

Pointing out that the attacks had targeted mass transport facilities and busy public areas “in both the immediate conflict areas and population centres”, Holmes had said that “the targeting of non-combatant is a contravention of the international humanitarian law, for which those responsible should be held accountable”.

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