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 presidential commission on missing persons has requested President Sirisena to extend its mandate in order to complete inquiries in the east, after it had finished its investigation in the North last week.
Sri Lanka’s parliament erupted into a brawl after Sri Lanka’s former army chief claimed that a previous bomb attack that had been blamed on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was actually staged-managed by Sri Lanka’s defence secretary at the time.
Soon after the attack,
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader, R Sampanthan, marked World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday, calling on the present Sri Lankan government to protect press freedom immediately and investigate the killing of murdered journalists.