UN baffled by The Times' claim of 20,000 deaths in Sri Lanka

REUTERS/Louis Charbonneau

According to the Guardian newspaper, UN staff are puzzled at the methodology used by The Times to calculate the high casualty figure it had previously announced.

In a baffling assessment made by photographs taken on a helicopter, The Times of London claims that 20,000 Tamils had been killed at the hands of the Sri Lankan Army in the final days of the conflict.


UN staff admitted they were puzzled by the methodology used to achieve the new death toll.

"Someone has made an imaginative leap and that is at odds with what we have been saying before," one official said. "It is a very dangerous thing to do to start making extrapolations."

U.N. under-secretary-general John Holmes has also disputed the claims made by The Times. "That figure has no status as far as we're concerned," Holmes said.

Photographs taken by the Reuters cameraman on board the same guided tour that The Times photographer was on -over the 'No Fire Zone'- shows no signs of mass graves.


Photos of those locations taken by a Reuters reporter traveling with the delegation showed no clear signs of mass graves, though some individual gravesites might be visible.

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Anonymous said...

So experts tell us. What can Sri Lanka do to counter this claim? How can the Times get away with writing lies?

Anonymous said...

Well UN has all the answers to disprove this. The US also had it's sattelites pointing to Sri Lanka. There is no evidence to prove that sri Lanka killed a vast number of people through shelling.

Over 200,000 people came to the safety of the Sri Lankan government. They wont be going to government if they were killing them.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many copies of the Times was sold that day. Huge Tamil population in England.

Anonymous said...

Photographs from a helicopter was enough to know 20,000 died, and that too because of Sri lankan army shells. Can the Times also tell us who shot 2pac? We have a photo of his body.

Anonymous said...

Times is being fed a lot of hogwash from people in the British Tamil Forum. Tell me what will a war crimes investigation achieve? Nothing..Recruitment of child soldiers, holding people as a human shield, and other abuses by the LTTE will only come up.

Anonymous said...

so is the times biased?

Sam said...

Tamilnet.com says UN is biased and hiding war crimes..ha ha

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