The Sri Lankan High Commission has issued the following statement in response to Channel 4 News’ report of 20th April 2011 on the current situation in northern Sri Lanka.
The news programme by Channel 4, like in a number of previous instances, is full of allegations which lack credibility, transparency and verifiability. The broadcaster takes no responsibility for the contents. It only quotes certain allegations made by, what the Channel 4 claims to have obtained from Channel 4’s sources. The programme is yet another part of a sinister campaign carried out according to a common pattern, to discredit Sri Lanka at a time of importance: this time, to coincide with the impending release of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Panel Report. The High Commission totally denies the allegations listed in the Channel 4 report, which is fictitious and baseless.
Foreign delegations who have visited Sri Lanka from time to time, including a recent cross party delegation from the UK, and also several international media agencies, have witnessed the current situation in Sri Lanka. Eleven UN agencies and Seventy Eight INGOs are present in Sri Lanka including in the former conflict areas. Several foreign governments and UN agencies have commended the success achieved in resettlement of the displaced and rehabilitation of ex-combatants. Out of 297,000 IDPs 280,000 have returned to their original habitats, with material and financial support to re-start their lives. Programmes are underway to build houses for those resettled with the assistance of foreign governments, including India. The remaining 17,000 will be resettled once the demining operations are completed. The military is involved in demining operations and restoring and rebuilding of the infrastructure and houses in conflict affected areas to expedite this process. The High Security Zones are shrinking, commensurate with the improvement of the security situation, and the private properties therein are being handed over to the rightful owners.
Sri Lanka High Commission
20 April 2011