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Paranagama says cluster bombs legal in 2009

The chairman of Sri Lanka's presidential commission, Maxwell Paranagama on Wednesday rejected the UN High Commissioner's call for a fresh inquiry to look at the use of clusters bombs in 2009, stating that the convention against cluster munitions only came into force in August 2010.

Highlighting the second mandate of his commission Mr Paranagama said that it had already dealt with the allegations of cluster munitions.

"Having examined all available evidence, it had concluded that such ammunition hadn’t been used by the military during the offensive," he told the Island.

"As the Cluster Munitions Convention (CMC) had come into operation on August 1, 2010, the UNHRC couldn’t find fault with the then administration even if such ammunition had been used. Had a need arisen for using cluster ammunition, the Sri Lankan military could have done so without violating international laws," he added. 

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Last month, leaked photographs published in The Guardian confirmed the use of cluster bombs by Sri Lankan government forces in the final stages of the armed conflict in 2009.

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