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Head of Army inquiry denies war crimes

The head of a Sri Lankan Army inquiry into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity has denied that any human rights abuses had taken place, while addressing troops earlier this week.

Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, who has appointed a five member of Army officers to inquire into “alleged civilian casualties”, made the statement in Puthukudirippu, which saw some of the heaviest civilian casualties in the closing stages of the war.

He told his troops,

"The army is disciplined, they did not abuse human rights during the war."

“I, as the Wanni Commander at that point of time, knew very well how we fought the war. Many of you witnessed it.

He then went on to state that so far no-one has come forward to testify before the Army appointed panel about any violations of human rights. Jayasuriya then attacked “Western nations” commenting,

“My personal view is that Western nations did not like us ending terrorism. The President did not cave in to pressures from the West to halt the war. He went ahead finishing it."

"Now, those elements are working collectively to bring disrepute to the Army and the country at large while being in Geneva. They make those allegations in order to overthrow this government because world powers and big countries never ever thought we, a tiny country like us, would be able to crush terrorism. "

"Those false allegations are levelled because most of them are not prepared to admit to defeating of terrorism from our soil."

See our earlier post: Sri Lankan Army to investigate itself (15 Feb 2012)