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Sri Lanka to fast track key rights cases ahead of elections

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

At least five key cases, including the killing of a Sri Lankan journalist, that took place during the regime of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa will be fast tracked ahead of the presidential elections due by the end of this year, the police said.

Attorney General Dappula de Livera has instructed the acting police chief C D Wickremaratne to complete all investigations on the cases and submit them for further action, they said.

The cases include the assassination of the editor of the Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunga in 2009. His killing was cited as one of the highlights of rights abuses blamed on the Rajapaksa administration between 2005 and 2015.

The editor's daughter Ahimsa Wickrematunga blamed Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of undermining the investigation in the case.

She also accused him of protecting Gotabhaya Rajapaksa against whom she filed a complaint in the US over her father's killing.

Gotabhaya has been announced as the candidate from former president Rajapaksa's camp for the presidential elections to be held by the end of this year.

The other high profile cases include the 2006 murder of 5 Tamil students, killing of 17 local aid workers of an international organization, the 2011 killing of a rugby player and the abduction and assault of the deputy editor of The Nation newspaper in 2008.

All the cases figured prominently in the 2015 presidential campaign against Mahinda Rajapaksa.

However, despite the regime change the investigations could not be concluded.

Ahimsa also accused Wickremesinghe of trying to use the cases for his party's electoral advantage in the upcoming polls.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 15 2019. 20:40 IST