Maithripala Sirisena: Saved Mahinda Rajapaksa from war crimes court

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday claimed that his victory in the elections saved his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa from being hauled before an international war crimes court.

“He (Mr Rajapaksa) was publicly lamenting that he was to be taken before a war crimes court and executed on an electric chair. The people who voted me against him have prevented that,” Mr Sirisena said, responding to Mr Rajapaksa’s statement on the UN human rights chief’s visit to the country.

Mr Sirisena said his victory in elections in January 2015 over Mr Rajapaksa was the reason why the former President was prevented from answering a war crimes probe.

Mr Rajapaksa, in a statement on UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s visit to the country had said that the government’s agreement to have a human rights probe on the last phase of the war with the LTTE was a “betrayal”.

“There was an attempt to portray this UNHRC resolution as a great diplomatic victory for Sri Lanka. But in reality, it was a great betrayal,” he had said.

UN human rights chief visited the country to review the measures tak-en by the island-nation to investigate alleged atrocities committed during the long civil war that left tens of thousands dead.

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