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Amnesty slams Lanka for promoting officers accused of war crimes

Amnesty International is expressing concern that the government of Sri Lanka has failed to end impunity for Security Forces personnel accused of crimes under international law.

In a statement released today 20 Sept, AI said it is “concerned that Sri Lankan authorities are failing to effectively investigate and, where there is sufficient evidence, prosecute those suspected of perpetrating enforced disappearances, as recommended by the Working Group. Amnesty International has campaigned for justice in many emblematic cases in the last decade. In the vast majority of cases, the authorities have made little progress. For example, the perpetrators of Prageeth Eknaligoda’s enforced disappearance, including those bearing command responsibility, continue to elude accountability.”

Amnesty also said it is disappointed with the government continuing to promote officers suspected of committing these crimes. “Despite calls for allegations against Major General Shavendra Silva to be investigated, he has been promoted to the position of Sri Lanka’s Army Commander. During the final phase of the conflict in 2009, Major General Silva was the commander of the 58th division of the army, which is alleged to have committed crimes under international law that may amount to crimes against humanity – including enforced disappearances,” it added.

It went on to say “For example, last month, some navy officers who were charged in connection with the enforced disappearance of 11 youth in 2008 and 2009 were promoted after being released on bail.”

AI, however, commended the government for agreeing to “grant the families of the disappeared interim relief in line with recommendations made by the Office on Missing Persons last year. We hope other recommendations made by the OMP and the Working Group will be implemented without further delay,” the statement added.

Author: TELO Admin