Sri Lanka calls Australian war crimes case ‘hilarious’

October 25, 2011 (AFP) – The office of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said on Tuesday that a new war crimes charge filed in an Australian court against him was “hilarious”. “It’s hilarious to file charges against a head of state who has defeated terrorism in Sri Lanka,” Rajapakse’s spokesman Bandula Jayasekera told AFP by telephone from Australia in a reaction to the case.

A Sri Lankan man who says he is “living testimony” to the massacre of ethnic Tamils during the island’s civil war has filed a war crimes case in Melbourne Magistrates Court against President Rajapakse.

Rajapakse is due in Perth this week to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and the issue is likely to be prominent on the agenda.

Director of Rajapakse’s Policy Research and Information Unit Lucien Rajakarunanayake said Sri Lanka expected Australia to extend immunity to the visiting president.

“Sri Lanka has been a founder member of the Commonwealth and enjoys warm cordial relations with all member countries. We expect diplomatic procedures will take place as assured by Prime Minister Gillard,” Rajakarunanayake said.

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