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War crimes suspect Jagath Jayasuriya takes up diplomatic post in Brazil

Former army commander General Jagath Jayasuriya, who is widely thought to be responsible for mass atrocities during the last phase of the armed conflict, has taken up his new post as Sri Lanka's ambassador to Brazil.

The general presented his credentials to President Dilma Rousseff earlier this week and briefed her on the political progress seen on the island since the change in government.

The Foreign Ministry announced in June that former army commander Jagath Jayasuriya and former army chief Daya Ratnayake have been nominated as envoys to Brazil and Pakistan respectively. Both held senior positions during the last phase of the armed conflict, which saw grave violations of international humanitarian law. Mr Jayasuriya was denied a US visa earlier this year over the allegations.

Giving diplomatic posts to army officers was initiated by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, which saw suspected war criminals in the military, including Shavendra Silva and Jagath Dias, given diplomatic posts, which would provide them with diplomatic immunity while travelling.