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Foreign Affairs Ministry is yet to receive official notice

The Foreign Affairs Ministry is yet to receive official notice regarding a lawsuit filed in Brazil against former Sri Lankan General Jagath Jayasuriya for war crimes.

The General who has been functioning as the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Suriname for the last two years had left Brazil on Monday and will arrive in Colombo today.

Foreign Ministry Media Spokesperson, Mahishini Kolonne speaking to the Daily News said he had left the country as his tenure had come to an end this month. She refuted reports that he left due to the lawsuit.

According to foreign media reports, Human Rights groups in South America have based their allegations on the former Army Commander’s role in the final phase of the war in 2009.

“They allege Jayasuriya oversaw military units that attacked hospitals and killed, disappeared and tortured thousands of people," reported the Associated Press.

“Carlos Castresana Fernandez, the lawyer coordinating the effort, told The Associated Press on Monday night that suits were filed Monday in Brazil and Colombia. Petitions also will be filed in Argentina, Chile and Peru in the coming days, he said, adding that authorities in Suriname refused to accept the suit.

“This is one genocide which has been forgotten, but this will force democratic countries to do something,” Fernandez said. “This is just the beginning of the fight.”, they reported.

The suits also allege that “Jayasuriya oversaw an offensive from Joseph Camp, also known as Vanni, which the papers claim was a notorious torture site. The International Truth and Justice Project said it interviewed 14 survivors of torture or sexual violence at the camp. According to the group, victims described hearing the howls of detainees at night, which the suits contend Jayasuriya would have been able to hear”.

The former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Brazil prior to his departure, however, was also awarded with the Degree of Gran Cruz by the State Government of Goiás, Brazil at a royal ceremony held on 26 July. The degree along with a medal of honour was awarded to Ambassador Jayasuriya in recognition of the contribution he made towards strengthening trade and economic relations between Sri Lanka and the State of Goiás. He was the first Sri Lankan Ambassador to be awarded by a Brazilian government entity.