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Sri Lankan army chief pledges to protect ‘brave war heroes’ and punish ‘murderers’

The Chief of Sri Lanka’s army has pledged he would protect those who “fought bravely” in the military and that “murderers” would be punished, in a speech in Kandy this week.

"Those who fought the war will not be punished,” said army chief Mahesh Senanayake.

“Not a single soldier who fought bravely has been punished, nor will they be allowed to be penalised because we have not committed any offences".

Whilst the army chief did not admit human rights violations had taken place, he went on to state “there is a difference between 'mini maruwa' (murderer)  and 'rana viruwa' (war hero),” according to Economy Next. “The people should know the difference, especially the military”.

"If a rana viruwa has become a mini maruwa, he must be punished."

See more from Economy Next here.

His comments come after senior Sri Lankan politicians, including the president, have repeatedly denied allegations of war crimes and pledged to defend Sri Lankan soldiers from prosecution.