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 67 year old ethnic problem in Sri Lanka remains unsolved, said the Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran in a meeting with Representatives Co-operatives Movement and Former Organisations.
The international media mission addressing the Jaffna Press Club at the conclusion of their visit. Photograph: Tamil Guardian
There remain “significant challenges” to media freedom in Sri Lanka said an international media mission,
The Sri Lankan government said it requested the assistance from the World Bank, India, the US and the UK to investigate financial fraud committed by the previous government under Mahinda Rajapaksa, Xinhua reported.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) met the UN Under-Secretary General for Politcal Affairs Jeffrey Feltman to discuss issues of land appropriation issues and Sri Lanka’s proposition of a domestic probe into the armed conflict in Sri Lanka,