Médecins Sans Frontières have refuted comments made by Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa that the organisation was allowed access in the final war zone in 2009, stating that despite repeated reuqests, access was denied.
Following comments made by the Defence Secretary to the Deccan Chronicle, MSF stated that in September 2008 they were issued a government directive asking them and other international organisations to leave Kilinochchi. They went on to state,
"Permission was sought from numerous ministries, including the Ministries of Health as well as Defense, but at no point was this request granted during the final stages of the conflict in late 2008 and 2009."
MSF also commented that it was only after May 2009 that they were able to provide assisstance in North Vavuniya and at an emergency field hospital in Menik Farm. They further clarified that "all of this activity was outside the battle zone".
Mahinda Rajapaksa will be tried at international courts for war crimes if he loses his position as head of state, said the Global Tamil Forum spokesman in an interview with Aljazeera news last week.
The Sri Lankan opposition United National Party (UNP) outlined that it was fully committed in ensuring that Sri Lankan leaders were not tried at international courts on war crimes charges, reports Colombo Page.
The opposition candidate at the presidential elections in January, Maithripala Sirisena, invited the Buddhist organisation Bodu Bala Sena for talks, according to the group’s general secretary Gnanasara.
Last week the former secretary general of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and minister of health, Maithripala Sirisena, was announced as the common opposition candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.