Apr 27, New York: The United Nations said today that it was unable to provide an accurate count of fatalities during the last stages of Sri Lanka’s armed offensive against the Tamil Tiger terrorists.
Responding to questions during the daily press briefing today at the UN headquarters in New York, Martin Nesirky, the spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General said that for security reasons, UN staff had to be withdrawn from parts of Sri Lanka during that period and were unable to make assessments as a result.
“The staff on the ground were not in a position to report the casualty figures as the government (of Sri Lanka) said their security cannot be guaranteed,” Nesirky said.
Media reports citing former UN official have said that the figure has been estimated around 40,000 civilian deaths.
The UN will also review its own actions during the last phase of the war, the spokesman said adding that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his senior advisers will review UN’s conduct based on the Panel’s recommendations.