Tuesday, February 16, 2010

UN says Gordon Weiss's views does not represent the agency

The Office of the UN Resident Coordinator has received queries regarding recent comments made by former UN spokesman, Gordon Weiss, in an interview with Australian Television. These views, communicated to the media are his personal ones and do not represent those of the United Nations. The overall view of the UN on any particular situation comes from statements by the Secretary General or other senior UN figures.

A number of queries were made on Mr. Weiss' comments on civilian casualties. The UN repeatedly and publicly said there were unacceptably high civilian casualties from the fighting in the last months of the war, as a result of the LTTE forcibly preventing people leaving and the Government's use of heavy weapons in areas close to thousands of civilians.

While we maintained internal estimates of casualties, circumstances did not permit us to independently verify them on the ground, and therefore we do not have verifiable figures of how many casualties there were.

The UN remains committed to supporting the Government of Sri Lanka in its efforts to rebuild communities and support peaceful solutions.

Courtesy: Source: Office of the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sri Lanka

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