Colombo, Jan 9: The Sri Lankan Army Thursday termed as baseless allegations by the US embassy in Colombo that the army was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians at the fag end of the country’s three-decade-long war against Tamil rebels.
The US Embassy in Colombo had tweeted a picture of the US ambassador-at-large at the Office of Global Criminal Justice Stephen J. Rapp and US ambassador in Colombo Michele J. Sison inspecting a location in the North which was allegedly shelled during the final stages of the war between the Army and Tamil Tiger rebels or the LTTE.
Army spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the allegation made by the US embassy in the tweet that Sri Lanka Army shelling had killed hundreds of families at the location was completely baseless.
The Tamil Tiger rebels had used the ground as a place to hand over dead bodies of their cadre who succumbed to injuries received during fighting, he said citing residents of that area.
“If this place was not safe the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) would never have used it for that purpose. They also confirm that there never was an incident of shelling on this ground when civilians were present.
“It is surprising to see a baseless allegation of this nature being released by the US embassy without any credible verification. Although the reason for this release is best known to them, this could be part of a much larger campaign that they intend launching in the near future,” the army spokesperson said.
The allegations could also be an attempt to give credence to otherwise baseless allegations that have been propagated by some governments and separatist elements with the support of some international media organisations, the army official added.