Bandula claims Gotabaya will return

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Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was ousted from power, will soon return to Sri Lanka.

He said he does not believe the former President fled the country and is in hiding, since he did travel abroad through the proper official channels.

Dr. Gunawardena told the weekly Cabinet Media briefing that he is aware that Rajapaksa will return to Sri Lanka and that if there is any threat against Rajapaksa, the relevant and responsible State officers in Sri Lanka will take sufficient steps to prevent the threats.

In response to the request made to the Singapore Attorney General to detain the former Sri Lankan President, the Cabinet Spokesman said that if such a situation arises, the responsible officials in the country will take steps to ensure that the former President is not harmed.  When asked if he knew when Rajapaksa would arrive in Sri Lanka, he said he had not been informed of any arrival date.

Lawyers from the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) have submitted a criminal complaint to the Attorney General of Singapore requesting the immediate arrest of former Sri Lankan President, Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, for war crimes. The 63-page complaint argues that Rajapaksa committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions during the civil war in 2009 when he was secretary of defence and that these are crimes subject to domestic prosecution in Singapore under universal jurisdiction.

The legal complaint argues that Gotabaya Rajapaksa committed grave breaches to the Geneva Conventions and violations of international humanitarian law and international criminal law during the civil war in Sri Lanka. These include murder, execution, torture and inhuman treatment, rape and other forms of sexual violence, deprivation of liberty, severe bodily and mental harm, and starvation.

By Thameenah Razeek

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