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Sri Lankan soldier jailed for massacre of Tamils set to be released, claim local newspapers

At least two local Sri Lankan newspapers have reportedly claimed that the government is set to release a soldier who was sentenced to death over the massacre of eight Tamil civilians.

The papers claim that Staff Sergeant Sunil Rathnayake is to be granted a Presidential pardon by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, though a date has not yet been set for the move.

Rathnayake was sentenced to death in 2015 for the murder of the 8 Tamils, including 2 children, in the town of Mirusuvil. The Tamils had been arrested by Sri Lankan security forces on the10th of December 2000. The following day their bodies were found in a mass grave with their throats slashed, according to the District Medical Officer’s post-mortem report. All but two of the bodies had been stripped naked. The youngest to have been murdered was a 5-year-old child.

The killings have since been dubbed the Mirusuvil massacre.

Earlier this year UNP MP Ajith Perera parliamentarian applauded the potential move.