By Xinhua –
Army spokesman Ruwan Wanigasekera told Xinhua that there were reports of cluster bombs being found by UN deminers in the north of the country.
He said that the claims had been made to some international news agencies based on a report by Allan Poston, the technical adviser for the UN Development Program’s mine action group in Sri Lanka.
“On the use of cluster bombs we have consistently maintained that we never used cluster bombs,” the army spokesman said.
He said Sri Lankan authorities have now urged Poston to provide the details he has over his claims that cluster bombs had been recovered in Puthukudiyiruppu, an area in the north which was once under the control of Tamil Tiger rebels.
He said that once those details are provided then the army will be able to investigate the claims.
“However I would like to stress that neither the army, navy or air force used cluster bombs during the war,” the army spokesman said.
A cluster bomb is a form of air-dropped or ground-launched explosive weapon that releases or ejects smaller sub-munitions.
Commonly, this is a cluster bomb that ejects explosive bomblets that are designed to kill enemy personnel and destroy vehicles.
Because cluster bombs release many small bomblets over a wide area they pose risks to civilians both during attacks and afterwards.
Sri Lanka defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels after 30 years of war in May 2009, but since then continue to face allegations of committing human rights violations during the final stages of the war.
The Tamil Tigers had often accused the military of using cluster bombs during the war, a claim the government rejected.