A former commander of the Sri Lankan army who stands accused of war crimes and human rights abuses passed away in Colombo on Monday.
General Rohan Daluwatte assumed command of the Sri Lankan army in April 1996 and also led a massive military offensive into Jaffna.
During the offensive, over half a million Tamil men, women and children fled their homes in Jaffna, in what became known as the Jaffna exodus. General Daluwatte claimed "lusty cheers and loud cries of delight by prancing exuberant crowds greeted the troops on the march”, whilst thousands were fleeing the oncoming military.
The former army commander was also in charge at the time of the infamous Chemmani murders and subsequent mass grave in Jaffna. Amnesty International said in 1997 that as many as 600 people who "disappeared" in the Jaffna peninsula after the Sri Lankan Army moved into the area in 1996, "died under torture or been deliberately killed."
In the course of his military career he was awarded several of Sri Lanka's highest medals and decorations. He never faced an investigation into crimes committed.
He is set to have full military honours at his funeral rites at the Borella Public Cemetery on Wednesday.