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Sunday, 17 February 2013

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Army inquiry into Channel 4 allegations continue

The Army Court of Inquiry continues to follow the second phase of their mandate to investigate allegations on summary execution of captured LTTE terrorists pointed out in a documentary by the UK-based TV channel Channel 4. "The investigation is an on going process and the same Court of Inquiry will be conducting the investigations," Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said.

According to the six-member Army Court of Inquiry, evidence revealed that at all stages of the Humanitarian Operation, the Sri Lanka Army behaved as a well-disciplined military force, observing the IHL and law of war and they took all precautions to avoid civilian casualties and all those who came under the control of the Sri Lanka Army, including surrendered/captured LTTE cadre, were treated humanely, observing the IHL to the letter.

The Sri Lanka Army is one of the few pioneer defence organisations in the world to establish a separate directorate within the organisation to educate the Force on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (IHL and HR). "When a separate directorate on IHL and HR was established in the mid-90's, the Sri Lanka Army was one of the few defence forces that pioneered such a crucial step," he said.

"Even before establishing a separate directorate, the Sri Lanka Army was strictly following International Humanitarian Law as our Army's disciplinary codes were based on the doctrine of the British Army," he said. "With the changes the country was facing, the Army felt the requirement of educating officers and soldiers more on IHL and HR as the Army had to interact more with civilians,"Brgd. Wanigasooriya explained.

The training programs were designed by the ICRC and training in the initial stages was also carried out by them. The ICRC trained Army officers as instructors and they conduct these courses throughout the year as a compulsory part of training for every officer and soldier. At present, both the trained Army officers and ICRC officials conduct IHL and HR training programs for Army personnel.

 

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