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Sri Lanka's ex-army chief ready to testify against successor

Sri Lanka's ex-army chief ready to testify against successor


AFP
COLOMBO
SRI LANKA'S former army chief on Friday accused his successor of committing crimes against suspects during the island's civil war and said he was ready to testify against the ex-army commander.
A human rights group this week filed two cases against General Jagath Jayasuriya in Colombia and Brazil, who until recently was Sri Lanka's ambassador in several South American countries.
The group alleged that Jayasuriya oversaw torture camps and was responsible for hundreds of disappearances and extrajudicial killings in the final stages of the conflict when he was a senior officer.
He was promoted army chief barely three months after the war ended.
Sarath Fonseka, Jayasuriya's predecessor, told reporters in Colombo Friday that he had received complaints against the post-war commander, who was placed in charge of arrested rebel suspects during the final phase of the war.
"At that time, I had several complaints against him. It was to do with crimes against suspects in his custody,"Fonseka said.
"As I started an investigation, the then rulers removed me as army commander."
Fonseka added that he was ready to testify against Jayasuriya.
South African-based rights group the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), which filed the cases against Jayasuriya, said it wanted both Brazil and Colombia to revoke his diplomatic immunity.
But two days after the cases were filed, Jayasuriya left Brazil where he has been based since 2015. The foreign ministry in Colombo denied media reports that he fled and said he had completed a two-year term.
International rights groups have said that at least 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed by security forces while crushing the rebels in the final months of Sri Lanka's 37-year civil war.

Comments
  • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah Sep 06, 2017

    The moment has come for the UN Security Council, united in purpose and resolve to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court! If it doesn't. it would be reneging in its duty for justice not only to be done but manifestly seen to be done; it will go down in history as one of the greatest failings of this august and civilized body; having admitted to not acting in time to save civilian lives during the war in Srilanka, this is its opportunity to rectify a wrong to those who perished.

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