Jurists Accuse Sri Lanka Diplomat of War Crimes

Posted October 17th, 2011 at 12:35 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Australia's Federal Police say they are examining a brief filed by a rights group accusing a top Sri Lankan diplomat of war crimes.

The legal paper, filed Friday by the International Commission of Jurists, calls for authorities to investigate Sri Lanka's high commissioner to Australia, Thisara Samarasinghe.

The former admiral was commander of the Sri Lankan navy's eastern and then northern areas, and naval chief during the final years of the civil war against the Tamil Tiger separatist group.

The ICJ says the Sri Lankan navy fired on unarmed civilians as they attempted to flee the conflict. Samarasinghe has rejected the charges, saying all of his – and the navy's – actions were legal.

The brief also accused the Tamil Tigers of using civilians as hostages and human shields, recruiting children to fight and shooting civilians who attempted to flee the conflict.