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Army continues to deny cluster bomb use

Despite the United Nations having released more evidence of cluster bomb use in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Army has continued to deny their use.

Noting that it was “not the first time such allegations have been hurled at us”, Brigadier Wanigasooriya said,

“We have on previous occasions as well said the Sri Lankan Army did not use cluster bombs during the civil war and we stand by it.”
 
“At the same time, we must make it clear that this is not an official accusation made by the UN. A UN official had mentioned in an email he sent, that Sri Lanka had used cluster bombs during the civil war.  This email is based on unfounded truths.”

The latest denial follows a long string of strong retorts by Sri Lankan officials who have vehemently denied the use of cluster munitions throughout the country’s war. Sri Lanka’s then Foreign Secretary Palita Kohona, and currently their top representative at the UN in New York, told CNN in 2009,

“I can say categorically that the Army does not use cluster bombs, it does not posses cluster bombs and it does not procure cluster bombs. I say this with authority, because I have… since… hearing the story, I have verified the facts with the procurement committee.”

Also in February 2009, Amnesty International accused the Sri Lankan Army of using cluster bombs, which led to Member of Parliament and Adviser to the President on reconciliation, Rajiva Wijesinha labelling them “lunatics” and their accusations as “rank idiocy”.