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Accused war criminal Jagath Dias made Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka’s Army

Major General Jagath Dias, who is thought to be responsible for large-scale mass atrocities against Tamils, has been appointed as the chief of staff of the Sri Lankan Army.

Mr Dias, who is also the commander of the security forces for Mullaithivu replaces Major General S. Samarasinghe, after his retirement on May 7, military spokesperson Jayanath Jayaweera said.

The major general was in command of the 57th division during the armed conflict against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He is suspected to be directly responsible and hold command responsibility for mass atrocities committed by his troops, especially during the final phase of the war.

He also served as Sri Lanka's ambassador to Germany and Switzerland, before he was recalled as pressure over his involvement in war crimes mounted. Sri Lanka denied at the time it recalled him due to the war crimes allegations.

In 2011, Switzerland's Federal Attorney General, said Mr Dias would face a criminal investigation if he were to re-enter Swiss territory for his "personal involvement" in the mass atrocities.

Mr Dias was last year refused entry into Australia over his role in the final stages of the armed conflict and allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Suspected war criminal Jagath Dias opens school in Vanni (31 Mar 2015)

Suspected war criminal appointed Bank of Ceylon chairman (11 Mar 2014)

Major General Dias refused Australian visa over war crimes allegations (06 Dec 2013)

US rejects Sri Lankan military officials (21 Aug 2013)

Sri Lankan Army war criminal apprehended in Florida (27 Aug 2011)

Dias faces arrest if he returns (23 September 2011)

Dias 'recalled'? (13 September 2011)

Criminal complaint against Major General Jagath Dias - BBC (04 Aug 2011)

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