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Army hits out at US Embassy

2014 Jan 11

Brigadier Ruwan WanigasooriyaThe army has accused the US Embassy in Colombo of making  baseless allegations which it says could be part of a much larger campaign that they intend launching in the near future.Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the allegation made by the US Embassy that Sri Lanka army shelling had killed hundreds of families at St Antony’s Ground, Iranapallai in 2009 is completely baseless.He said that according to people who live in that area the LTTE had used the ground as a place to handover dead bodies of their cadre who succumbed to injuries received during fighting.“If this place was not safe the LTTE would never have used it for that purpose. They also confirm that there never was an incident of shelling on this ground when civilians were present. It is surprising to see a baseless allegation of this nature being released by the US Embassy without any credible verification. Although the reason for this release is best known to them, this could be part of a much larger campaign that they intend launching in the near future,” the army spokesman said.Wanigasooriya added that the allegations could also be an attempt to give credence to otherwise baseless allegations that have been propagated by some governments and separatist elements with the support of some international media organizations.RappUS Embassy tweetThe US Embassy in Colombo had today tweeted a picture of US Ambassador-at-Large at the Office of Global Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Rapp and the US Ambassador in Colombo Michele J. Sison inspecting St. Anthony’s ground in the North which was shelled during the final stages of the war in 2009.The Embassy tweet accused the army of killing hundreds of families at the site.Rapp visited parts of the North which were designated as ‘No Fire Zones’ during the final stages of the war. Rapp  and Sison visited the site where a UN office was in Puthukudiruppu and the site of a school and hospital in Puthumathalan.The External Affairs Ministry in Colombo has sought a clarification from the US Embassy on the locations Rapp visited in the North and the tweets. (Colombo Gazette)

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