SL Army Refutes HRW Allegations
By Dinouk Colombage
The Sri Lankan army has refuted accusations by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that they were not doing enough to investigate the alleged atrocities committed during the war.
Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya, military spokesperson, said that the army was following the army act when it appointed an internal inquiry in to these allegations. “I do not know what exactly Human Rights Watch has said, but there is nothing wrong with what we are doing. According to the army act there is provision for such an inquiry to be carried out internally”, he said.
Wanigasuriya added that this act had been carried over from the time of the British, and armies all over the world follow similar procedures. “When such allegations are leveled against a country’s military they will carry out internal inquiries. Our actions would be the same as those followed by other nations”, he explained.
Wanigasuriya said that he did not wish to comment on HRW’s accusations, “that is for the government to comment on. All I can say is that the army is following procedure and will be investigating all accusations that are leveled against it.”
On Thursday HRW released a statement describing the government’s investigations into the alleged atrocities as “lacking in transparency”. The statement goes on to criticize Sri Lanka’s National Plan of Action, describing it as allowing the investigations into the atrocities to be carried out by “the entities responsible for the abuses”.
According to the National Plan of Action the alleged atrocities would be investigated by the military and the police. It gives them a 12 month time frame to carry out investigations, and a further 24 months for prosecutions.
Cabinet spokesperson, Kehiliya Rambukwella, was unavailable for comment.