SF personnel in alleged crimes None above the law – Waidyaratne

Defence Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne says that Security Forces personnel accused of crimes will have to face the law.

In an interview Waidyaratne said that whoever was responsible for crimes such as the murder of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga and the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda will be brought to book.

Responding to a question about President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement that Armed Forces personnel would be protected from persecution, the Defence Secretary said that the President did not say that members of the Armed Forces will not be punished under any circumstances.

“What he said was, people who have committed crimes, whether it is a high ranking or low ranking officer, will have to face the law. With regards to the cases of Lasantha Wickrematunge and Prageeth Ekneligoda the investigations will be conducted properly, legally and lawfully.”

“If it is proved that they have stepped out of their mandate no-one will be exempted.”

Waidyaratne, a former Additional Solicitor General and President’s Counsel took office as Defence Secretary in July this year.

With regards to alleged war crimes, he said that the Defence Ministry will formulate a policy and that is a different process.

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