Photograph: JDS Lanka
A Sinhala Buddhist monk has praised Sri Lanka’s pardon of a soldier who was convicted over the massacre of Tamil civilians, calling it “delightful news”.
Buddhist monk Medille Pannaloka stated that Sri Lanka’s defence secretary Kamal Gunaratne, who is also accused of overseeing war crimes, called him personally to inform him of Staff Sergeant Sunil Rathnayake’s pardon.
“This morning Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne phoned me and said that he has to convey a delightful news,” JDS Lanka quoted the monk as stating. “He went to the Welikada prison with his troops and released him and sent him home,” he added.
Rathnayake served in the Gajaba Regiment, which Gunarate and current Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa once commanded.
Pannaloka went on to state that Gunaratne was fulfilling a pledge that the soldier would be released before the Sri Lankan new year in April. For years there have been several campaigns in the south to secure his release.
We need your support
Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.
Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view
We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.
For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.