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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Nambiar speaks up about ‘White Flag’ incident

UN Official Vijay Nambiar stated to Indian media that he had spoken to high ranking officials of the Sri Lankan government in order to witness the surrender of those pertaining to the ‘White Flag’ incident but had been refused entry.

Speaking to Inner City Press Nambiar said that Marie Colvin, a journalist who was recently killed in Syria but was covering the war with the LTTE at the time, had spoken to him about brokering the surrender of two people who required free passage.

Nambiar said that at the time he took the case up with the Foreign Minister, the Defence Minister and the President who assured him that they would be treated like any other surrendering prisoner.

“in the middle of the night, Marie called me, the two people, I’ve forgotten the names, one was on the Peace Commission, they wanted to surrender. We need to get assurance, free passage. I said OK, I’ll do it. I took it up with foreign minister, the defence minister and the president. They would be treated like any surrendering prisoner”, he told Inner City Press.

Furthermore, he revealed that he had twice contacted US Diplomat Robert Blake who was also planning to go witness the surrenders.

“I asked to go, twice I contacted [US diplomat] Bob Blake, the two of us were planning to go… the ICRC was not able to go by sea route. The Government refused to give us permission. There was no way we could just force our way in.”

When asked why he didn’t speak up about the killings that took place he claimed that when he spoke with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, he was told that it was possible that the killings of those who wanted to surrender were conducted by their own people.

In his statement to Inner City Press Nambiar said that Basil Rajapaksa had also stated the same while adding that he also spoke to Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohana
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