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* Minister defends Sri Lankan forces from HR violations
Sat, Dec 26, 2009, 09:58 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minister of Human Rights and Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasinghe today defended the country's armed forces from allegations of human right violations.

Addressing a public rally in Kurunegala to mark the National Safety Day this morning the Minister said the three forces and the police did not violate any international laws during the war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Referring to the controversial allegations made by the opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka against the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Minister Samarasinghe said the former Army commander had undone all the successful efforts of the government in countering allegations of human rights over the past couple of years.

The Minister stressed that the country was now faced with a new challenge and the government will take it head on.

The controversial statement made by General Fonseka in an interview to a local newspaper, although withdrawn later, has prompted a UN official to demand an inquiry into the war crime charges against the Defense Secretary and the Division commander who led the troops in the last battle.

Sri Lanka held the National Safety Day event to coincide with the 5th anniversary of the devastating December 2004 tsunami which killed thousands of people in the country.

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