Lanka Polity) A leading Sinhala nationalist daily in Sri Lanka reported today quoting an unnamed Defense Ministry official that US State Secretary Hilary Clinton had admitted that the statement she made over rape being used as as a weapon of war in Sri Lanka.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, addressing the UN Security Council, on September 30, noted that rape has been used as a weapon of war in the Balkans, Burma, Sri Lanka and elsewhere and that in too many countries and in too many cases, the perpetrators of this violence are not punished, and so this impunity encourages further attacks.
The newspaper, Divaina (sister paper of The Island) said that the person who wrote Clinton's statement had inserted the name of Sri Lanka to deliberately insult the country. Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse had told the newspaper that there could be an individual behind this incident.
Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights Rajiva Wijesinha speaking to Sri Lankan television Derana regarding Hillary Clinton's comment that rape was used as a tactic of war in Sri Lankasaid, "To my knowledge, this is not true and I have not come across such an allegation."
Wijesinha mocked Clinton stating that she "tends to make generalized statements, it is clear as she did the same during her campaign for Presidency against Barack Obama and we should take a leaf out of Obama's book and forgive her for this statement".
In a letter addressed to Sri Lanka's Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama, the State Department noted that the US government and international human rights groups over the years had detailed "numerous cases of rape and sexual violence in Sri Lanka, particularly acts committed against women held in detention by the government."
However, the letter signed by Melanne Verveer, ambassador at large for global women's issues at the State Department said that "in the most recent phase of the conflict, from 2006 to 2009 ... we have not received reports that rape and sexual abuse were used as tools of war, as they clearly have in other conflict area around the world."