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Mar 17, 2017

Mangala admits book proves war crimes (video) Featured

Foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera has admitted that a book written by retired Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne proved the war crimes allegations against the Sri Lankan armed forces, reports.

Speaking to the media yesterday (16) he took quotes from ‘Road To Nandikadal’ of how soldiers unleashed violence against civilians, but ridiculed the book, which also describes how soldiers destroyed private property to take revenge over a colleague’s death, and the writer’s admission of shame over not taking action against it.

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The UN, local and foreign human rights bodies have urged the government to act against those who ordered and committed war crimes, and Samaraweera said it was not wrong to punish the guilty.

It is only through punishment of the ‘few rotten eggs’ that the good name of the three armed forces and the police could be safeguarded, he said.

The minister, who has not ruled out during appearances in international platform of the participation of foreign judges to probe the accusations, said here in answer to questions that it was a recommendation only.

He was optimistic the judiciary was regaining the local and international confidence which it had lost during the Rajapaksa regime.

The government is considering alternative mechanisms to investigate the accusations, he said, adding that reconciliation would be made possible within the additional  two year period the UN was to grant to Sri Lanka to implement its recommendations.

He invited ITJP executive director Yasim Sooka to come to the island and look into an allegation made in Geneva that a torture cell was operating at Joseph camp in Vavuniya.

Samaraweera added that ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa was jealous of the prevailing international recognition of the country, and, together with several former military chiefs, was provoking racism to take the country to darkness again.


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