Report: Former Sri Lanka President Stalled Police Probe Into Mass Graves

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The Facts

  • On Thursday, activist groups, including the International Truth and Justice Project, published a report accusing former Sri Lankan Pres. Gotabaya Rajapaksa of ordering the destruction of police records to obstruct investigations into mass graves discovered in the central Matale district in 2013, when he was a powerful defense official.

  • Hundreds of remains were unearthed in a score of mass graves — reportedly from the time of a deadly Marxist insurrection — but thousands of bodies could still be buried in undiscovered mass graves, according to the report.

The Spin

Narrative A

Political interference to protect military and political masters has long been the norm in Sri Lanka, a country that is ranked second in the world for unsolved enforced disappearance cases. Though UN experts have asked the government about the status of investigations into Rajapaksa and other suspects, no reply has been given so far. The lack of accountability must stop to build a future for Sri Lankans.

Narrative B

Hopefully, Gotabaya will eventually survive these disgusting character assassination attempts that his enemies have been plotting since before his ouster. While the former president is a military man known for being a harsh taskmaster, he is definitely neither autocratic nor a war criminal as shown by his calm, low-profile reaction to vandals attacking his official residence.

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