Sri Lankan military gets US training in probing rights abuses

Aug 20, 2008 (LBO) – The United States military’s Pacific Command has conducted a military law exchange programme to train Sri Lankan security forces to investigate and report human rights abuses, a US embassy statement said.

Legal and law enforcement officers, operational commanders, investigators and academics from the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs, Attorney General’s Department, security forces, National Human Rights Commission, and Kotalawela Defense University took part.

Major General Mohanthi Peiris, Director General Legal of the Sri Lanka Army, said the armed forces and police have taken several measures to educate the troops under their command to comply with international humanitarian law and protect human rights. Subjects covered during the three-day programme included maritime law, coastal state enforcement authority, military justice, and preventing and investigating human rights violations.

The programme is aimed at enhancing Sri Lanka’s military justice institutions and promoting accountability in the military.

“An important part of ensuring a future of hope and opportunity and facilitating a process of national reconciliation is ensuring respect for human rights,” the statement q