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Former Sri Lanka president Rajapaksa accused of obstructing mass grave investigations

by Derek Andrews
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4 Sri Lanka activist organizations accused former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday of obstructing police investigations into mass graves found in an space the place he served as a navy officer throughout a Marxist rebellion in 1989. Activist teams the Worldwide Fact and Justice Undertaking, the Heart for Human Rights and Improvement, Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, and Households of the Disappeared stated of their report that Rajapaksa tampered with police data, thereby impeding the identification of victims and the return of their stays to their households.

The report alleges that Rajapaksa impeded the exhumations of mass graves, citing his actions as an example of political interference. It particularly claims that Rajapaksa, who held a outstanding place in protection, issued an order to destroy police data older than 5 years within the area the place the mass graves had been unearthed in 2013. Throughout the intense Marxist riot, Rajapaksa fought towards insurgents in that very space.

The report urges the implementation of measures towards Rajapaksa and senior police officers, who activists accuse of obstructing investigations into the mass graves. It proposes the adoption of particular laws and insurance policies to proficiently deal with mass graves and exhumations, encompassing points similar to identification, preservation, and investigation. Furthermore, the report recommends the enhancement of forensic capacities throughout the nation, the institution of an unbiased public prosecution service to make sure truthful dealing with of prosecutions arising from exhumations, and the creation of a specialised unit dedicated to investigating potential mass graves.

Over the previous three many years, 20 exhumations have revealed quite a few human stays inside mass graves, indicating the likelihood that there are nonetheless tens of 1000’s of our bodies but to be found.

Sri Lanka holds the unlucky distinction of being the nation with the second-highest number of enforced disappearances. In response to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, as much as 100,000 disappearances have been reported in Sri Lanka because the Eighties, with nearly all of these incidents occurring through the nation’s civil warfare.

The Sri Lankan authorities has additionally been topic to criticism for its dealing with of the armed battle’s aftermath. In 2020, Rajapaksa pardoned a Sri Lankan soldier who was convicted of killing eight Tamil individuals, together with 4 youngsters. Amnesty Worldwide and Human Rights Watch referred to as the choice “reprehensible.”

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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