The Government has accused a high level US delegation of having “forced its way” into the Boosa Detention Facility down south and used the good offices of the IOM to meet with ex-LTTE combatants, the right wing Island newspaper reported today, quoting ‘senior government sources.’
The report claims that the US Delegation led by Ambassador at Large for War Crimes, Stephen J Rapp had met with ex Tigers in the IOM office at Kilinochchi.
The Island’s Shamindra Ferdinando, who regularly headlines reports in the Island newspaper quoting Secretary to the Ministry of Defnce Gotabaya Rajapaksa or a senior official in the defence establishment said the Defence Secretary had demanded that action be taken against IOM, the UN agency for migration issues for its ‘high-handed’ actions.
The Island, quoted Government sources as saying that soon after the secret meeting had come to light, the Defence Ministry took up the issue with the IOM mission which accused its Kilinochchi office of arranging the meeting without informing Colombo. “Sources emphasised that the local office wouldn’t have facilitated such a meeting without the blessings of higher authorities,” the report said.
According to the newspaper, the Rajapaksa Government was alleging that Ambassador Rapp’s delegation had forced its way into the Boosa detention facility down south.
“Government sources alleged that the US delegation led by Ambassador Rapp had also forced its way into an army detachment adjoining the Boossa detention facility. The visiting US official had wanted to know whether the detachment was responsible for security at the detention centre, sources said, adding that the GoSL couldn’t comprehend the US attitude. The army detachment had been there for many years, they said,” the report in the newspaper claimed.
The Defence establishment has taken a hard line against the US as pressure mounts over war crimes allegations and international demands led by the US that Sri Lanka undertakes an investigation into the alleged abuses. Last week Gotabaya Rajapaksa was quoted in the Island calling US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal, who recently concluded a visit to Colombo as “ignorant.”