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Sri Lankan Presidential Commission recommends exoneration for 25 ex-military officers

Sri Lanka's Presidential Commission on "Political Victimisation" has called for the pardoning of 25 former military officers, including those involved in the notorious Trinco 11 case, as well as a number of high profile human rights abuses.

The Commission reportedly further calls for the release of all military personnel and is allegedly being used to exonerate and acquit war criminals and money launders, and punish respondents.

Court cases against 25 military personnel have been suggested to be abandoned by the Presidential commission, including cases against former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda, former spokesperson Commodore DKP Dassanayake and Commander Sumith Ranasinghe regarding the abduction and slaughter of 11 Tamil youth and former Sri Lankan military intelligence director Amal Karunasekara accused of aiding and abetting the abduction of Keith Noyahr, associate editor of The Nation in 2008. Also amongst the listed cases is the assassination of Tamil MP Joseph Pararajasinham; the murder of journalists Lasantha WickrematungeUpali Tennekoon,  and many others; and the Welikada Prison massacre, according to the report leaked to Colombo Telegraph earlier this year. The commission has also exonerated a number of several Rajapaksa family members and close associates.

Writing for the Colombo Telegraph last month, Nimal Rataweera states “bar none, every suspect and accused in cases linked to atrocities committed when the Rajapaksa regime was last in power”. Adding that the suspects were exonerated “largely based on hearsay and statements by the complainants themselves or witnesses on their behalf”.

The Commission 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.

 

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