Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickrememsinghe in an interview with Channel 4 journalist Jon Snow said those that surrendered at the end of the war and are still missing in Sri Lanka are ‘most probably dead’
When asked if President Maithripala Sirisena has ruled out foreign involvement in the accountability process, Mr Wickremesinghe said “We have not ruled that out. We are standing by our commitment in the Geneva resolution. We are putting together a mechanism for accountability and reconciliation by May.”
He noted that whatever the Government does, the public must stand to benefit and that will be the focus of the entire reconciliation process.
He also said that there are doubts on the 40,000 figure estimated by some as the number of those killed during the final stages of the war.
Answering a question on the number of civilian casualties, “We have a question mark as whether it is 40,000 but we are interested in finding out the actual number. We know there were casualties there had to be casualties in that type of fight. But we are interested in standing with the international community to determine the final numbers.”
The Prime Minister also added that “There are no detention centres in the north or the south. There are 292 in detention are known to the government no others.”
Responding to further questioning on the fate of thousands of others that surrendered or disappeared and had not returned home, he said,
“They are most probably dead. This is why the missing persons office and the TRC are there. We have to find out what happened.”