I have not committed war crimes – Jagath Jayasuriya
August 31, 2017 10:40 am
Former Chief of Defence staff and Commander of the Sri Lankan Army Jagath Jayasuriya fervently denied the war crimes allegations that were levied against him by a South American Human Rights Organization.
The former Army commander stated that the declaration stating that he gave the final orders to Army units during a humanitarian operation is completely false.
It has been reported that Executive Directress Yasmin Sooka of the Project for International Truth and Justice was responsible for filing the allegations.
The suits against Jagath Jayasuriya are based on his role as a commander in the final phase of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009. They allege Jayasuriya oversaw military units that attacked hospitals and killed, disappeared and tortured thousands of people.
The suit also states Jayasuriya was commander of the Vanni Security Force from 2007 to 2009, one of the bloodiest periods in a war estimated to have killed more than 100,000 people. The U.N. estimates between 40,000 and 70,000 died in the final phase alone.
According to the suits, Jayasuriya oversaw an offensive from Joseph Camp, also known as Vanni, which the papers claim was a notorious torture site. The International Truth and Justice Project said it interviewed 14 survivors of torture or sexual violence at the camp. According to the group, victims described hearing the howls of detainees at night, which the suits contend Jayasuriya would have been able to hear.
Addressing his plight the former Commander stated that the government should take a firmer stance and not limit their response to issuing statements. He stated that the government should obtain UN assurance that no action will be taken against him for the alleged war crimes.
Speaking to the media at the cabinet media briefing yesterday (30), Military Spokesperson Roshan Seneviratne stated that the Sri Lankan military made a decision to end the civil war through a military effort. He also stated that all accusations made by the NGO against the former Commander were baseless.