A former Parliamentarian, who was part of the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime during the war, has denied claims of zero casualties.
In an interview with Daily Mirror, Sajin de Vass Gunawardena refused to accept the stand taken by the then Government that there were zero casualties during the conflict.
During the final stages of the war the Government had insisted that there were zero casualties among civilians and that only LTTE cadres were killed.
“This aspect of zero casualties, I don’t accept that stand. Obviously collateral damage is there. If you take the Paranagama Commission report, it has evidence to 22,000 disappearances into three categories. One category says Army came and took, one says LTTE came and took and another says they don’t know who took. But either way there was camera evidence when they went from village to village of those 22,000 people disappeared. This is something we have to face. The whole problem with human rights is that we are not prepared to face this and put it behind us,” Sajin de Vass Gunawardena said.
He also noted that the defence policy often dictated Sri Lanka’s foreign policy at the time.
Sajin de Vass Gunawardena was a monitoring MP in the Foreign Ministry when Mahinda Rajapaksa was President.
“We should have had a clear guideline, especially after the war. At the end, we fought with India, the US, the UK and the EU. At the end, it was only the African countries that were with us. And China,” he said.
He also said that not signing the MCC agreement with the US is a bad move. (Colombo Gazette)