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Sri Lanka rejects war crimes allegations against ex-Army chief

Sri Lanka rejected war crimes allegations raised against former Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya.

Army spokesman Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne said the allegations are baseless and shows that the ideology of the LTTE still remains.

The International Truth and Justice Project, a human rights group has filed war crimes charges in Brazil and Colombia against Jagath Jayasuriya, who just concluded his term as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Latin America.

The International Truth and Justice Project has accused Jayasuriya of being involved in war crimes during the final phase of the civil war in 2009.

The United Nations estimated between 40 and 70 thousand Tamil civilians were killed in the last months of the Sri Lankan war and a 2015 UN Investigation found reasonable grounds to conclude the Sri Lankan military had committed systematic and widespread violations of international humanitarian law.

The lawsuit filed in Brasilia and Bogotá on Monday alleges that General Jayasuriya bears individual criminal responsibility as the commander of units that committed repeated attacks on hospitals, acts of torture and sexual violence, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.

“It is an outrage that a man like this, named in UN reports, should be sent as a diplomat abroad and accredited given what he has done. The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) and its Latin American partners would have liked to see the General stand trial but instead we understand he’s suddenly fled the region and returned to Sri Lanka,” said the ITJP’s executive director, South African human rights lawyer, Yasmin Sooka.

However Government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that the Government will not back baseless allegations against any military officer.

He said the Government will however investigate war time disappearances and other allegations related to the conflict. (Colombo Gazette)

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