3 July, 2022


Demand Details Of War Casualties During 2008 August To 2009 May From UNSG

By Kusal Perera

Kusal Perera

The following letter sent to the leaders of the two political parties, UNP and the TNA, on the UN Internal Review Report that was released two days ago.

16 November, 2012
To Leaders of the UNP and the TNA
Ranil Wickramasinghe, MP (Leader of the Opposition)
R. Sampanthan, MP

Demand details of war casualties during 2008 August to 2009 May from UNSG

As you by now are aware, the “Report of the Secretary-General’s Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka” date lined November 2012 and released on 14 November, 2012, now accepts the UN has failed in its duty and responsibility, to provide humanitarian access for the UN staff to the people trapped within the conflict zone in the Vanni, the physical delivery of assistance into the conflict zone, and the freedom of movement for populations to reach assistance, all fundamental to the protection of life.

The UN Colombo office, the prime centre in deciding, organising and executing all such humanitarian work, had also failed, or consciously decided against providing all necessary details, information and numbers they had with them on war casualties during the last phase of the war they note as from August 2008 to May 2009, to other UN Agencies, to UNSG and to the public. The internal review report says, “The UN believed there were up to 350,000 civilians, but in its internal and public statements made references which oscillated between 150,000 and 350,000, and used an assistance-planning figure of 200,000.” [2. Humanitarian access and obstructions to humanitarian assistance / No.46 – page 18 ] This leaves a massive deficit of 150,000 human lives unaccounted for. It comes almost close to the 146,679 people missing and unaccounted for, as submitted by Rt. Rev Mannar Bishop, Dr. Rayappu Joseph to the LLRC. In around 2011 May, Gordon Weiss in his book “The Cage” also made a very ambiguous explanation as to why he is not able to use information he is privy to, as the UN Colombo office decided they would not make them public. He argued it is not proper for him to do so.

Now, it is clear it was not proper for the UN Colombo mission to have kept all the information and numbers they had gathered, under cover. The UN Internal Review now finds fault for all such lapses, giving us the right to now demand all details, information and numbers that were then available with the UN, during the last phase of the war, till May 2009. I therefore wish to invite you as leaders of the only two political parties represented in parliament that had no direct stake in this regime’s war, to make an official request from the UN Secretary General to publish numbers on human casualties due to war during the period August 2008 to
May 2009, with all relevant details avaialable with the UN Colombo mission and other UN agencies, with no further delay. Wish you would accept this request in the name of humanity and decency.
Thanking you in advance,
Yours sincerely,

Kusal Perera
Journalist, as a Concerned Citizen
e-mail <kusal.perera@gmail.com>

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Agree. UN must come clean otherwise the credibility of the whole organisation is at stake.

  • 0

    If my memory serves me right, in 2008 when the War was at it’s peak, each side hyping the numbers of dead on the otherside, with the general belief that both sides were down playing the numbers, in July, August, September and October 2008 the PM Ratnasiri Wickremanayake in Parliament announced the number dead in the Forces every month totalling over two thousand five hundred. As I traveled a lot in the South I never saw Funerals or Pinkamas to correspond such numbers. Further I met a Father of a soldier who had died who had received the body of his son and he told me that he did not influence or knew any VIP to help him receive the body. This was against the story that the Forces dead were disposed at the battle ground itself to prevent furthe animosity by sending the body home. Realising there was something fishy I got Two UNP Members of Parliament to ask from the Govt. the names and the rank of the dead who have been mentioned for the period July to October 2008 and of any further to be announced. The very day after the Question had been placed in the Order Paper, the Govt made an announcement that further numbers of dead in the Forces will not be revealed. As said they never announced the numbers dead in Parliament again. As the writer says, Ranil Wickremasinghe should ask for list of the Forces dead for the period from July 2008 to May 2009 as it will reveal the TRUTH of this ‘Hoax of a War’ conducted between MR and VP to fool the masses of this country. The details from the UN of the numbers killed in the last stages will reveal the massacre of the numbers of LTTE with VP although VP’s supposed dead body was already marketed earlier.

    • 0


      You have done a valuable service to humanity by persuading the MP’s question the ruling regimes spin or otherwise.

      There is also other side to army death. In 1971 and between 1987 and 1991 an estimated 130,000 innocent Sinhala youth were butchered by the then ruling regime. The same army, police, party thugs who were responsible for all those killings continue to serve the state or their political masters.

      Out of the 130,000 only 30,000 names had been officially registered as dead and causes of death given to the commission which systematically recorded consequences of state terrorism.

      The state has a responsibility to record birth as well as death irrespective how they died or whether they were serving members of armed forces or civilian.

      I think we should start campaigning against the deafening silence on the part of the state. I suggest we should demand a complete independent investigation covering the period from 5th April 1971 to date.

      • 0

        Dear NV ,

        100% agreed, this is the single most urgent issue to look in to if we were to prevent another blood bath in the foreseeable future.

        PS . don’t forget to add the 2009 massacre for the list.

        On a lighter note NV , i really enjoy reading your comments and you are an inspiration for the deeply divided SL , no petty party politics no hidden agendas and never afraid to call a spade a spade .way to go!

        Bravo NV

  • 0

    You must be joking kusal , writing to RW ? rest assured he will appoint another committee to look in to and let go ,don’t you know RW has far more pressing issues than this, He is busy with disciplining his own party members and use this method as an intimidating tactic to prevent any future dissent within the party , these are mere precautionary measures for his unethical/ dictatorial rule .some time I wonder is there a opposition leader in SL?

  • 0

    A very valid question to ask the UNSG. They have the information and they should reveal them at least now so that the world will believe the extent of the mass murder the Rajapaksa regime committed on its own citizens. I salute Kusal for his courage in openly making this appeal to the two party leaders.

  • 0

    Kusal…………. you are requesting a Terrorists & a LTTE sympathiser
    to request for figures……..

    You never resorted to inquiring for any figures of dead from the ICRC who were evacuvating many injured throughout the war……..

    Darussmann appears to know the figure and he has stated in his report.

    Say… UN put out those confidential memos and the figure to be around 150,000…………..


    • 0

      The Sinhalese Forces not only have blood of the Tamils and the LTTE on their hands, but our own as Lasantha W, Prageeth Eknaligoda and the massacre of the Prisnors the other day. If we are not subject to UN scrutiny now, the Forces will kill much more opponents in the future. The Forces will help establish a Junta as in China.

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