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Pardon of Sri Lankan soldier is ‘slap in face’ for UNHRC - ICET

Sri Lanka’s presidential pardon of a soldier convicted of massacring Tamils is “a slap in the face to the member countries” of the UN Human Rights Council, said the International Council of Eelam Tamils in a statement this week, as they reiterated calls for Sri Lanka to be referred to the International Criminal Court. 

The release of Stag Sgt Sunil Rathnayke, who was convicted for the Mirusuvil massacre, “does not surprise the Tamils who have seen too many Sinhalese criminals walk free,” said the Tamil diaspora group.

“Despite overwhelming evidence against all of the accused army men, Sunil Ratnayake was the only "token" person convicted to fool the international community that there is justice in Sri Lanka,” it added. “Many atrocities committed earlier did not even result in any convictions despite overwhelming evidence i.e. The Kumarapuram massacre, the murder of17 employees of Action Contre Faim, the murder of five students in Trincomalee.” 

“President Gothabaya Rajapakse, himself a credibly accused war criminal, releasing another war criminal does not surprise the Tamils who have seen too many Sinhalese criminals walk free through the "revolving door."  In contrast, tens of thousands of Tamil political prisoners have been incarcerated for decades without charges, merely on suspicion.  In this backdrop, the release of Sunil Rathnayake is a slap in the face to the member countries of the UNHRC who continued to give extension of time for Sri Lanka to deliver justice to the Tamils.”

The organisation concluding by stating,

“We welcome the unanimous condemnation, of the release of the convicted criminal, by the UNHRC, Amnesty International, International Commission of Jurists and Human Rights Watch.  We strongly urge you to take decisive stand against defiant Sri Lanka and refer it to the International Criminal Court.  Only an independent international investigation can truly guarantee justice to the Tamils who are undergoing a genocide for the past seven decades.”