Sri Lanka’s army commander reiterated his support for troops accused of committing mass atrocities during the final stage of the armed conflict, stating that they were “war heroes” who carried out a “humanitarian operation”.
Speaking on the 69th anniversary of the Sri Lankan army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake told soldiers that “I distinctly believe that, you will pursue to maintain the national and international reputation earned by the Sri Lankan army over the last six decades”.
“This peaceful environment was brought by brave war heroes who actively participated in the humanitarian operations,” he continued.
The final massive military offensive by Sri Lankan security forces in 2009 saw tens of thousands of Tamil civilians massacred, with civilian targets including hospitals routinely shelled, sexual violence deployed and those who attempted to surrender executed.
The commander went on to state that the military was “fully prepared to perform any task for the best interest of the nation and to prevent re-emergence of insurgencies in our soil”. His comments come as the Sri Lankan military remains massively deployed across the Tamil North-East, despite almost 10 years passing since the end of the armed conflict.
See the full text of his comments here.