Sri Lanka Army to respond to allegations in UN report with precision

May 06, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Army is in the process of responding to the war crime allegations noted in the report produced by the Expert Panel appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to advise him on the accountability of Sri Lanka during the later stages of the war against Tamil Tiger terrorists.

Addressing the troops at the Eastern Security Forces Headquarters at Welikanda on Friday (06), Sri Lanka Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya commented on the controversial UN report which Sri Lanka dubbed as “Darusman Report”.

He said he has perused the copy of the UN panel’s report and found that most of those allegations were based on mere hearsay and irrational assumptions.

“Deliberate attempts were made to tarnish the image of the Sri Lankan Security Forces,” Jayasuriya said.

The Expert Panel in its report said that it found credible allegations, which if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law were committed both by the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tiger terrorist group LTTE.

The Army Commander said in his capacity as Wanni Commander during that stage of the Humanitarian Operations, he was well aware of the operations in the battlefield as well as in the enemy’s territory and how the Sri Lankan forces fought the enemy with courage.

“This Report constitutes a deliberate move to tarnish the image of the President, Secretary Defence, Government, and the tri-services,” Lieutenant General Jayasuriya said.

The report alleged that the Sri Lankan government systematically shelled hospitals on the frontlines and shelled on a large scale in three consecutive No Fire Zones, where it had encouraged the civilian population to concentrate, even after indicating that it would cease the use of heavy weapons.

“The Army is in the process of responding to those allegations with precision,” the Commander said.

The Panel was appointed by the UN chief last May to investigate allegations of violating humanitarian law by the government security forces and the rebels during the successful military offensive in 2009 that completely eliminated the terrorist group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), from Sri Lanka.

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