Those that surrendered at the end of the war and are still missing in Sri Lanka are ‘most probably dead’ said Sri Lanka’s prime minister Ranil Wickrememsinghe in an interview with Channel 4 News.
Mr Wickremesinghe went on to dispute UN estimates that 40,000 civilian deaths saying that a further investigation would be required.
Commenting on the number of civilian casualties, “We have a question mark as whether it is 40,000 but we are interested in finding out the actual number. We know there were casualties there had to be casualties in that type of fight. But we are interested in standing with the international community to determine the final numbers.”
When asked about Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s most rejection of international involvement in the accountability process for war crimes, Ranil Wickremesinghe said,
“We have not ruled that out. We are standing by our commitment in the Geneva resolution. We are putting together a mechanism for accountability and reconciliation by May.”
When asked about the fate of missing persons and those that surrendered to Sir Lanka’s army to be put in detention, Mr WIckremesinghe said,
“There are no detention centres in the north or the south. There are 292 in detention are known to the government no others.”
Responding to further questioning on the fate of thousands of others that surrendered or disappeared and had not returned home, he said,
“They are most probably dead. This is why the missing persons office and the TRC are there. We have to find out what happened.”