The Sri Lankan government has rejected accusations by Action Contre la Faim (ACF) that the military was responsible for the massacre of 17 aid workers in Muttur.
In a statement, released by the army, the government questioned the motives behind ACF’s report, asking why the organisation had withheld evidence from the government.
"This is another instance of a pattern which has emerged since the end of the conflict where certain organizations level allegations against the GoSL without providing sufficient details to enable an investigation. These accusations are then repeated in several other documents, by different agencies, thereby contributing to forming an opinion which is then propagated, without substantiation.
A report by the US embassy concluded that members of Sri Lanka's Special Task Force, and the Muslim Home Guard, were the likely perpetrators.
In a leaked US embassy cable, dated April 2008, then Ambassador Robert O Blake wrote,
'The report is meticulous in its account of available evidence. Its conclusions correspond to a large degree with those of the Eminent Persons and other embassy contacts. The report identifies suspect security forces (police constables, and members of the Muslim Home Guard and Special Task Force) by name. It postulates that in the ACF case, then-Deputy Inspector General of Police Rohan Abeywardene (now in charge of all police operations in Colombo) and Senior Superintendent of Police Kapila Jayasekere (now personal assistant to Deputy Inspector General Mahinda Balasuriya, head of STF) instructed that the aid workers be killed'
Responding today, the government said it was committed to an “impartial and comprehensive criminal investigation and domestic inquiries” into complaints against members of the security forces.
See full statement released by the Sri Lankan government today below:
The content of the Press Release reportedly issued by ACF on 3 December 2013 contains allegations of a very serious nature implicating the security forces of the country. Whilst it claims that it is not seeking to be or replacing a judge it continues nonetheless to deliver a judgement based on evidence which it claims is in its possession.
If the ACF (or any other organization for that matter) had in its possession evidence which could bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice, the first thing they should have done was to produce that evidence and support and strengthen the local investigations and not withhold such evidence for almost 7 years.
The fact that they did not come up with so called evidence and chose instead to release a public report on the matter, calls to question the motives of the organization in withholding such evidence in the first instance.
This is another instance of a pattern which has emerged since the end of the conflict where certain organizations level allegations against the GoSL without providing sufficient details to enable an investigation. These accusations are then repeated in several other documents, by different agencies, thereby contributing to forming an opinion which is then propagated, without substantiation. The GoSL has also not been provided the evidence which is claimed to be in the possession of the authors of these reports in order to investigate and respond. They conclude these allegations with a call for an independent international investigation,
The claims made by ACF in its media report are no different.
The GoSL remains committed to conduct impartial and comprehensive criminal investigations and domestic inquiries into any complaints and information received, relating to alleged perpetration of crimes by members of the armed forces and the police.