Sept 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka Army said a high profile three-member investigative team will shortly be sent to Haiti to investigate the allegations of a rape committed by a Sri Lankan peacekeeping soldier.
The Army, on the directions of the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake has appointed a Court of Inquiry (CoI) comprising three senior officers to investigate an alleged molestation attempt on a Haitian woman by a member of the Sri Lankan contingent, serving the UN Peacekeeping Mission (MINUSTAH) in Leogane.
"Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake on hearing the alleged misconduct took a very serious view of the incident and assured the UN of a full and impartial inquiry immediately in order to bring any offender to justice," the Army said in a media release.
The UN Commander for the Sri Lankan contingent in Haiti, has been directed to cooperate with UN investigators, if any request to this effect is made, the Army said.
The Army Court of Inquiry, appointed by the Commander of the Army comprises Major General N. A. J. C. Dias, Adjutant General, Major General E. K. J. K. Wijayasiri, Provost Marshal, Brigadier R. P. Rajapathirana, Director Legal, Major H. S. K. Jayasinghe and Major L. G. Epa.
Following the conclusion of the CoI investigation, the identified offenders, if any, will be repatriated to Sri Lanka immediately to face a General Court Martial.
The CoI would also probe whether there was any lapse of duties on the part of the Haiti-based field commander that might have led to the offense.
"Any such Field Commander, found to be negligent in supervising his troops is also to be seriously dealt with, taking very severe disciplinary action," the Army statement said.
The CoI would also inquire into all other aspects of the alleged incident to ascertain whether there were any deliberate attempts by interested parties to discredit the Army and the country in particular.
The investigating team has been directed to visit every Sri Lankan detachment in Haiti and further educate the troops in order to prevent incidents of this nature.
The Army Commander has affirmed that Sri Lanka Army has a zero tolerance policy on wrongful conduct by any of its members.