A criminal lawsuit filed against former Sri Lankan military commander Jagath Jayasuriya should “act as a loud deterrent message to all would-be perpetrators” said the Sri Lankan Campaign for Peace & Justice (SLC), in a blog post examining the case today.
General Jayasuriya, who was appointed as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Brazil, fled to Sri Lanka after the lawsuits were filed last month.
Commenting on Sri Lanka’s response, SLC said it was “sadly all too predictable”. Sri Lanka’s president vowed that he would “not allow the international community to lay a hand on former Army Commander General Jagath Jayasuriya, or any of Sri Lanka’s military chiefs or war heroes for that matter”.
“Recent events have demonstrated the great potential for universal jurisdiction cases to disturb the political narratives about the war that help prop up impunity,” said the Sri Lanka Campaign. “The initiative will have sent a clear signal to the government of Sri Lanka that the protection they continue to afford perpetrators of mass atrocities is not boundless or cost-free.”
“Finally, the complaints against Jayasuriya should act as a loud deterrent message to all would-be perpetrators: if you commit serious violations human rights inside Sri Lanka, you will not be safe outside of it. In the context of ongoing abuses, and with the long-term risk of a return to mass violence posed by the government’s ongoing failure to reckon with the past, this may well prove to be one of the most important and valuable contributions of the initiative of all.”
See more from the Sri Lanka Campaign here.