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Former army spokesperson to contest in upcoming parliamentary elections

Former Media Spokesperson of the Sri Lanka Army, Brigadier Sumith Atapattu, is set to make his political debut by contesting in the Parliamentary Elections this year, according to Colombo Gazette

Atapattu - who was part of the Mechanised Infantry during the civil war - said he made a decision to contest from the Kurunegala District under the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) party led by Sajith Premadasa to work for his people and ensure the issues they faced are addressed. 

He believes that his people in Kurunegala were facing several issues and after being invited by the SJB party, he accepted the decision to contest. 

As the Media Spokesperson of the Sri Lanka Army, Atapattu has a long-standing history of dismissing war crimes allegations subjected against government officials and Sri Lanka military.

In 2018, he rejected allegations by the UN of war crimes against Sri Lankan army commander, Kalana Amunupure for his alleged involvement in coordinating targeted shelling of UN sites and hospitals, in the killing of surrendees and in torture, during the final phase of the war in 2009.

"He has not done anything wrong. He has not committed any war crime. We will appeal and send him back,” he responded against the UN.

Furthermore in 2019, in response to a Right To Information (RTI) Act request, he insisted that "no Tamil Tiger surrendered to the Sri Lanka military", contradicting earlier claims by then Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and other officials who said the LTTE cadres did surrender to the military and were handed over to rehabilitation authorities.