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Former president says Sri Lanka should support war crimes accused Jayasuriya

Sri Lanka's former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa called on the government to support Jagath Jayasuriya, the former military general who has been accused of war crimes. 

"The government should take a strong stance in support of former Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya in his defence against the allegations of war crimes levied against him by a South American Human Rights Organisation," Mr Rajapaksa was quoted by Ada Derana as saying. 

Adding that he was "gravely saddened by the baseless allegations levied against a military leader who actively aided in the mitigation of terrorist activities in Sri Lanka", Mr Rajapaksa said, "the government should extend their fullest support to help the former Army Chief to dismiss the allegations and restore his integrity within the international community."

Mr Jayasuriya this week fled Brazil where he was posted as ambassador after human rights groups filed lawsuits in Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile over his role in the military in 2009.