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Army questions ACF motives

2013 Dec 04

The army has questioned the motives behind a French NGO releasing a report on the murder of 17 humanitarian workers in 2006 before sharing the information with the government.

Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that the contents of the report, reportedly issued by the French NGO Action Against Hunger (ACF), contains allegations of a very serious nature implicating the security forces over the death of the 17 aid workers.

“If the ACF (or any other organization for that matter) had in its possession evidence which could bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice, the first thing they should have done was to produce that evidence and support and strengthen the local investigations and not withhold such evidence for almost 7 years,” the army spokesman said.

He said that the fact that they did not come up with so called evidence and chose instead to release a public report on the matter, calls to question the motives of the organization in withholding such evidence in the first instance.

“The Government of Sri Lanka remains committed to conduct impartial and comprehensive criminal investigations and domestic inquiries into any complaints and information received, relating to alleged perpetration of crimes by members of the armed forces and the police,” the army spokesman said.

ACF has said it has proof that Sri Lankan army, navy and police personnel were implicated in the August 4, 2006 massacre in the city of Muttur, in Trincomalee.

“In one of the most heinous crimes ever committed against humanitarian workers, the 17 aid workers were lined up, forced to their knees and each shot in the head,” ACF said in a statement.

ACF’s report into what happened is entitled “The Truth Revealed about the Assassination of 17 Humanitarian Aid Workers in Sri Lanka.”

It alleges that the killers were protected by the Sri Lankan authorities at the highest levels and describes an official investigation into the killing as a “farce” characterised by the systematic destruction of evidence and multiple irregularities. (Colombo Gazette)

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