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".
The Chief Minister of the Northern Province CV WIgneswaran urged British MPs at the All Party Parliamentary Group For Tamils (APPGT) to avoid supporting any form of domestic inquiry, during his visit to the UK earlier this month.
Sri Lanka’s cabinet spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne reiterated the new government’s stance of rejecting the demands by the Tamil National Alliance for a federal solution to end the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.
Unidentified gunmen opened fire at a United National Front campaign rally killing at least one person on Friday, reports Agence France Presse.
The shooting occurred after the Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake spoke on stage at the rally in Colombo.
Speaking to press after the incident,
The Sri Lankan government said responsibility for “the matter of justice and accountability” with regards to investigating human rights violations rests with itself since it was not a signatory to the International Criminal Court,