Sri Lanka protest against UN’s ‘bloodbath’ report

May 11, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka on Monday protested against a United Nations statement that said a large number of civilians had been killed in a “bloodbath” in the northeast where troops are fighting Tamil rebels. Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona said the government had summoned UN representative Amin Awad to receive a formal protest.

“We take serious offence at those remarks,” Kohona told reporters here. “It is not the role of the UN office to say anything in public to embarrass the host government.”

The UN said that more than 100 children were among Tamil civilians killed over the weekend in shelling in territory still held by the Tigers.

“The bloodbath scenario has become a reality,” UN spokesman Gordon Weiss said.

Kohona said he had telephoned Weiss to protest.

“Gordon Weiss should be a lot more discreet about what he says in public, given the sensitivity of the situation on the ground,” he said.