Another senior Sri Lankan minister has come forward to deny reports that the armed forces deployed cluster bombs during the armed conflict, after reports that remnants of the munitions had been discovered across the Tamil North-East.
Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Karunarathna Paranawithana denied reports that cluster munitions were used and instead slammed demining organisations for allowing the findings to become public.
A former official employed by the demining organisations active in the North-East leaked photographic evidence of the cluster bombs to non-governmental organisation Together Against Genocide, with the story being published in Guardian earlier this week
“The organizations carrying out the demining work have no moral obligation to reveal the information to media,” said Mr Paranawithana. Demining is a separate profession and they have no right to talk about it outside.”
“We see this as something done to put the government in a difficult situation at a time when the topic of Sri Lanka will be discussed in Geneva once again,” he added before reiterating “similar allegations have been made against Sri Lanka in the past but Sri Lanka’s army is not an army that has used cluster bombs”.
Earlier Sri Lanka’s Cabinet Co-Spokesman Dr Rajitha Senaratne also categorically rejected the reports.
See more on the discovery of the cluster munitions in our feature:
Leaked photos confirm cluster bomb use in Sri Lanka (20 June 2016)