Sri Lanka rejects new war crimes charge

July 28, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s military Thursday rejected new allegations that its political bosses ordered the execution of surrendering Tamil rebels during the final days of the island’s separatist war. Reacting to a new broadcast from Britain’s Channel 4 that accused defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse of ordering executions, military spokesman Ubaya Medawela dismissed the allegations as “completely false”.

Channel 4 said two Sri Lankan soldiers who declined to be named had told them that orders to execute surrendering rebels came directly from the defence secretary, who is the younger brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse.

“One of these eyewitnesses, an army officer, accuses defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse of ordering Brigadier Shavendra Silva to execute Tamil rebel leaders,” the report said.

Sri Lanka’s then army chief, Sarath Fonseka, has been charged with inciting violence and causing racial hatred for allegedly making a similar statement implicating Rajapakse, who has vehemently denied ordering any executions.

“This (latest Channel 4 report) is completely false,” Medawela told AFP. “None of the things described by Channel 4 has taken place. This latest report is aimed at