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'Diaspora orchestrated Jagath Jayasuriya war crimes charges' - former commander

A senior former military official has dismissed war crimes accusations against former army commander Jagath Jayasuriya, who fled Brazil on Sunday after lawsuits were filed against him.

Rtd Major General Kamal Gunaratna, former commander of the 53rd Division which is also thought to have committed mass atrocities during the armed conflict, said the Tamil diaspora orchestrated the charges.

The Major General said that Jayasuriya did not give orders to the military during the last phase of the conflict, Hirunews reports.

Gunaratna last year published a book, titled "Road to Nandikadal", in which he details the last phase of the war from his perspective, including his control of the 53rd Division, accused of war crimes. He was also previously a "diplomat", as deputy ambassador to Brazil.