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Weliweriya shooting: Army exceeded its remit

The Court of Inquiry appointed Army Commander Lt. General Daya Ratnayake had found that the army had exceeded their legal duties during the Weliveriya shootings, and a ‘summary of evidence’ is currently under way in order to frame charges for a Court Martial.
Army Commander Lt. General Daya Ratnayake said yesterday that the Court of Inquiry appointed by him to look into the Rathupaswela shooting had found that the conduct of the Army had gone beyond their legal duties during the incident.

However, the Court of Inquiry which inquired into three specific areas, namely, the deployment of troops, the shooting, and the post shooting had found the deployment of the Army to be within the framework of the prevailing law.

“The Court of Inquiry report stated that the deployment of troops was within the legal boundaries, however the report indicated that the Army had gone beyond their legal duties during the post shooting incidents. The Army will give all necessary support to the magisterial inquiry and the Police inquiry with regard to the shootings that occurred” Lt. Gen Daya Rathnayake told Daily Mirror Online.

He further said that ‘summary of evidence’ was currently underway in order to frame charges against those responsible.

Upon conclusion of the summary of evidence, a Court Martial is to be appointed by the Army.

“The Brigade Commander and three other senior officers who were in charge of the troops on the day have currently been posted to their regiments in order to ensure a completely free and transparent inquiry and summarising of evidence” he said.

The Court of Inquiry, which comprised Major General N.A.J.C Dias, Brigadier K.J. Jayaweera, Brigadier N.I de Silva, Colonel T.D. Weerakoon and Leiutenant Colonel W.P.A.D.W.Nanayakkara handed over a report to the Army Commander on August 21, 2013.

Three persons including two students were killed after the Army allegedly opened fire on protesting civilians in Weliveriya on August 1 this year.

Lt. Gen. Daya Ratnayake asserted that the Army would mete out the maximum punishment to any officers or soldiers found guilty.

“We won’t tolerate any activity. There is a zero tolerance policy on anything that is illegal, and the maximum punishment will be meted out to anyone who is found guilty of violations,” he said. (Hafeel Farisz) DM


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