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Sunday, 24 July 2016





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‘Unbecoming of former Head of State’:

Asian Human Rights Commission raps MR

The recent comment made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that setting up of the Office for Missing Persons ‘is a betrayal of the armed forces’ is a statement unbecoming of a former head of the state and a prominent political leader in Sri Lanka, the Asian Human Rights Commission has said.

In a media release, the Hong Kong-based rights group charged that “what the former President directly says is that enforced disappearances, which are an internationally recognised heinous crime, should not be investigated in Sri Lanka because the culprits may involve some members of the armed forces”.

AHRC pointed out that “It is one of the basic norms of a civilised society that crimes must b investigated, irrespective of whoever the suspects are. No state can make any exception to this rule except at the cost of undermining its own authority”.

“It may be the intention of Mr. Rajapaksa, in making this statement, to appear as the saviour of the armed forces. However, the public impression that is created by this statement is seriously damaging to the image of the armed forces. It implies that the armed forces may have been involved in the commission of enforced disappearances, but that these crimes should not be investigated.

“Those officers who commit crimes against the law and military orders do not deserve protection and,in fact, the military would be better off for prosecuting such offenders. However, the head of the state could have also authorised the commission of such crimes. If Mr Rajapaksa is thinking of such a situation, then he should come clean about his own involvement, rather than try to implicate the armedforces.


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