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Casualties caused by LTTE under-reported: Sri Lanka

T V Sriram in Colombo | February 09, 2009 22:47 IST

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The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam maintains a hostile approach towards the exodus of civilians from the Wanni region, and the casualties caused by it is under-reported, Sri Lankan government told a high-level United Nations delegation on Monday.

"The surge of civilians leaving the conflict zone, numbering in excess of 20,000, is encouraging even though the LTTE [Images] regrettably maintains a hostile approach on the exodus of civilians," Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.

Speaking at a meeting with United Nations officials in Colombo, Rajapakse claimed that the casualties caused by the LTTE are under-reported. The meeting was attended by the Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Chief of Sri Lankan Defence Staff Air Vice Marshal Donald Perera, the UN resident coordinator and the heads of several UN agencies, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children's Fund and the World Food Progrmme.

"During the meeting the Lankan side deliberated on all the issues of mutual interest regarding the protection of civilians in the conflict zone," a Sri Lankan foreign ministry statement said.

The release said issues like the LTTE holding civilians from leaving the conflict zone and the discrepancies pertaining to reported casualty figures were discussed during the meeting.




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