Accessibility links

Cambodia Denies Role in Sri Lanka Weapons Supply

A government spokesman Monday denied a report that Sri Lanka's grinding civil war was still significantly supplied by weapons coming from or through Cambodia.

The report, in the well-regarded Jane's Intelligence Review, claimed the Tamil Tigers, a separatist group fighting the Sri Lankan government, were supplied through Cambodia.

"Cambodia is one of the most significant single sources of weapons for the insurgent group," Jane's Intelligence Review said in an online report last week, Agence-France Presse reported.

The Review did not name any sources, AFP reported.

Terrorism experts told VOA Khmer recently that Cambodia acts as a hub for weapon shipments, especially to Sri Lanka, but for other countries in the region as well.

Spokesman Khieu Kanharith Monday denied these reports.

"It is regretful, because I've always respected Jane's Intelligence Review," he said. The magazine "might be able to deceive some, but I am a spokesman, and I understand a lot of things."

He urged an inspection of the serial numbers on the weapons to prove where they come from.

"In Cambodia we have computers, and we register all those weapons, where they are, what year, and we would find them now," he said. "Jane's should not deceive those who don't know anything about it."

The Tamil rebels have been fighting for a separate state since the 1970s and are considered a terrorist group by the US, the UK, the European Union and India, among others.

The Tamil Tigers receive weapons from Afghanistan, Libya, Turkey and the Ukraine, as well as Southeast Asia, the Review reported.

Cambodia has acknowledged in the past a role in the supply of weapons to separatists, but Khieu Kanharith said Monday Cambodia has destroyed most of the weapons left over from its own civil wars.