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Sri Lankan military denies war crimes charges against ambassador

Officials from the Sri Lankan military have denied war crimes charges against a former military commander who was appointed as the government’s ambassador to Brazil and fled from South America earlier this week.

Speaking after General Jagath Jayasuriya arrived back in Colombo, Sri Lanka's military spokesman Roshan Seneviratne denied all reports of war crimes.

"These allegations keep coming up from time to time, but there is no truth in them," said Mr Seneviratne.

Major General Kamal Gunarathna, the now retired commander of the 53 Division during the final stages of the island’s armed conflict, also rushed to his colleague’s defence. Hiru News reported the major general as stating the law suit filed against Mr Jayasuriya has “been orchestrated by the Tamil diaspora”.

Their comments come after fled the country after human rights groups filed lawsuits accusing Mr Jayasuriya of overseeing war crimes on Monday night.

He stands accused of overseeing Sri Lankan units that bombed hospitals, as well as the execution and torture of surrendees and disappeared civilians amongst a litany of human rights abuses against Tamil civilians and militants during the final phase of the island's armed conflict in May 2009.