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Sri Lanka to not prosecute former Navy commander charged with abduction of Tamil youth

Sri Lanka’s Attorney General has announced that it will not proceed with charges against Sri Lankan Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda over the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths including Tamils.

The decision follows the President’s Commission on “Political Victimisation” call for pardoning 25 former military officials who have been implicated in serious human rights violations as well as the prosecution of those involved in these investigations.

The Commission has been widely condemned by human rights organisations and was chaired by pro-Rajapaksa former Inspector General of Police, Chandra Fernando, as well as retired Court of Appeal Judge Chandrasiri Jayathilake and “disgraced” Supreme Court Judge Upali Abeyratne.

Previously Sri Lanka’s Attorney General had filed over 667 charges against just 14 individuals in connection with the torture, extortion, abduction and conspiracy to murder 11 youths in 2008-2009. As the case proceeded the Court of Appeals blocked proceedings of the case against Karannagoda despite repeat court summons. Karannagoda consistently failed to appear in court, despite being pictured at high profile events with senior military and political leaders.

The eleven youths have been named as Kasthuriarachchi John, Thyagarajah Jegan, Rajiv Naganathan, Soosaipillai Amalan, Soosaipillai Roshan, Kasthuriarachchi Anton, Prageeth Vishvanathan, Thilakeshwaran Ramalingam, Mohamed Dilan, Mohamed Saajid and Ali Anwar.

During 2008 and 2009 eleven predominantly Tamil youths were abducted in the Colombo area, held for ransom at Trincomalee and Colombo navy bases, before being murdered.

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