UN clarifies controversial Geneva statement
The UN Headquarters on Wednesday (18) asserted that it did not have the exact information to be able to reach even an estimation of civilian casualties, when questioned about the controversy over the casualty figure in Sri Lanka.
In response to a question by a journalist, who quoted the same civilian casualty figures mentioned by the Geneva based UN Human Rights Chief Navaneetham Pillay, in her statement last week, the UN Secretary General’s Spokesperson stated that they do receive some estimates but emphasised that they did not have sufficient information from the ground to provide precise figures.
The Spokesperson dismissed the document the journalist claimed was leaked to him, providing precise information as an estimate and clarified that the UN was not involved in counting bodies but saving lives. Independent observers commented that this very responsible approach of the UN Headquarters stood in stark contrast to High Commissioner Pillay’s statement from Geneva which quoted casualty figures which seemed to tally with numbers quoted on propaganda websites and by LTTE front organisations.