Government delays mass graves inquiry
[TamilNet, Sunday, 06 September 1998, 17:49 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Army soldier, Somaratne Rajapakshe, sentenced to death for the rape and murder of Krishanthi Kumaraswami, is reported to have asked for his relocation.
In his plea to prison authorities he said that as a result of his disclosure revealing the existence of mass grave at Chemmani in the Jaffna peninsula, his life is under constant threat.
He has asked to be moved from the Welikade prison to the Bohambara prison in Kandy.
He is reported to have linked the recent incident in which he was assaulted by prison gourds, to the revelations of mass-graves. Furthermore he blamed the authorities for failing to conduct an inquiry into the matter and said that under such circumstances, he does not feel safe at Welikkade.
Meanwhile, a Sinhala language news paper has accused the Government, in it's Sunday editorial, of deliberately delaying the inquiry into the mass-graves. The paper, that gave extensive coverage to the mass-graves issue, said that the Government was citing legal loopholes as an excuse for not opening an inquiry.
Stating that the Attorney Generals Department is only now considering the details of the mass-grave the paper urges the Government to act responsibly in exhuming the bodies at Chemmani for a proper investigation.
The paper further says that President Chandrika Kumarathunga who, while she was Prime Minister marched her supporters towards the mass graves at Sooryakandhe, should use her executive presidential powers to excavate the graves at Chemmani. This is the expectation of the people, the paper adds.
The paper quotes the Government's threat of taking disciplinary action against even senior police officials implicated in the Southern mass graves issue and says that similar action should be threatened regarding the Chemmani graves.
Mentioning the nearing monsoon, set to begin in two months, the paper suggests that the Government should speed up the process of excavation.
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