• Saturday, Nov 28, 2020
  • Last Update : 04:26 pm

Rajapakse vows to scrap Sri Lanka war crimes probe if elected

  • Published at 08:25 pm October 15th, 2019
Sri Lanka People's Front party presidential election candidate and former wartime defence chief Gotabhaya Rajapaksa waves at supporters during his first election campaign rally in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka October 9, 2019 Reuters

Gotabhaya was defence secretary during his brother's rule, when troops were accused of killing up to 40,000 Tamil civilians while crushing the Tamil Tigers

Sri Lanka's front-running presidential candidate Gotabhaya Rajapakse vowed Tuesday that if elected he will scrap Colombo's pledge to investigate war crimes committed during his brother Mahinda's decade in power.

Gotabhaya was defence secretary during his brother's rule, when troops were accused of killing up to 40,000 Tamil civilians while crushing the Tamil Tigers.

A later government co-sponsored a US-led resolution to appoint an independent panel to look into the actions of both sides in the final stages of Sri Lanka's bloody separatist conflict, although it was never formed.

But on Tuesday the 70-year-old Gotabhaya said he would not honour the commitments made to the UN Human Rights Council, saying people needed to "move on"

In response to questions by AFP about Sri Lanka's wartime human rights record, he said: "Why are you talking all the time on the past. Ask (about) the future.

"I am trying to become the president of the future Sri Lanka. So if you concentrate on the future, it is better."

He said even the Tamils were more interested in jobs, education and infrastructure than raking over the past.

The Rajapakses insist no civilians were killed by government forces in the latter stages of the war, and accuse the rebels of using tens of thousands of civilians as human shields.

At least 100,000 people were killed in the conflict between 1972 and 2009. 

Mahinda Rajapakse's administration was on the verge of international sanctions because of its refusal to investigate the alleged war crimes when he was defeated at the January 2015 elections.

Gotabhaya Rajapakse was addressing the press Tuesday for the first time since launching his bid to become president in an election scheduled for November 16.

The presidential poll has attracted a record 35 candidates, with nearly 16 million people eligible to vote.

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail