Plight of civilians:
Tell the whole truth - Defence Secretary
INGOs, international media should not hide main fact - LTTE
keeping civilians hostage
It is unfortunate that spokesmen for INGOs, UN Agencies and other
organizations hide most important facts when commenting on the plight of
civilians in the Vanni, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told the
“The Government has demarcated an area equal to half the total area
still to be cleared as a No fire zone and it is the LTTE that is keeping
the civilians by force without allowing them to enter that zone. This is
the main factor which these spokesperson hide,” added the Defence
“There is a well orchestrated campaign to discredit the Government
and the Security Forces and bring pressure on it to declare a ceasefire
by LTTE agents who have infiltrated international organizations and
media institutions over a period of time.
Referring to a statement made by these spokesmen alleging the
Security Forces of using cluster bombs on civilian targets, he said that
Sri Lanka does not have cluster bombs and questioned who is producing
The blame should go to those who produce and use such weapons and not
to Sri Lanka who has not acquired them, he added.
The Security Forces are practically providing facilities for LTTE
cadres to surrender and already several hundreds of those who have
surrendered are looked after and provided with skills training by the
Government. There is also a program to find them overseas employment, he
Those who are in the pay books of the LTTE are fabricating stories to
invent a scenario of a human catastrophe and are disseminating false
information. For example, exaggerated figures of the number of civilians
are given when the actual figures are much lower, he said.
According to the Census of 2002 there was only a population of
208,000 in the Mullaitivu district and over 60,000 of them are now
living in Colombo. A similar number resides in other areas such as
Vavuniya, Anuradhapura and the Central Province.
The actual number of civilians trapped in the Vanni is less than
100,000. A recent estimate provided by the Government Agent confirms
this, the Defence Secretary explained.
The Defence Secretary appealed to the media and to all who are
interested in the plight of civilians to tell the whole truth and not
hide the main fact of the LTTE keeping them hostage.