Rajapaksa under fire in Australia

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CANBERRA – Sri Lankan-born Australian Arunachalam Jegatheeswaran filed an indictment on war-crime charges against the Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday, declaring he was seeking justice for thousands who perished in a series of aerial bombardments and ground attacks on shelters, schools, hospitals, orphanages and community centres.

Rajapaksa is leading a delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) being held in Perth.

Rajapaksa is leading a delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) being held in Perth.

The three charges included (1) crimes against humanity for shelling civilians in Vattakkachi (2) depriving Tamil civilians of their rights, and (3) intentionally attacking medical facilities in violation of Geneva conventions.

‘People are still suffering because of what he did and I think the world should know,’ Mr Jegatheeswaran said

‘I’ve seen all of these things,’ he added, having been a volunteer aid worker in Sri Lanka from 2007 to 2009.

‘I can’t bear that the person who is responsible for all of this – who is the commander-in-chief – is in my country and getting off scot-free. I’m asking the highest court of justice in Australia to decide whether he is guilty or not guilty.’

The indictment had been filed under the Australian criminal code with the Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday and set for hearing on November 29, his lawyer, Rob Stary, said.

Rajapaksa has already been cited in a brief of evidence compiled by the International Commission of Jurists’ Australian section and handed to the AFP.

The brief recommends that the President be investigated for alleged war crimes, along with Sri Lanka’s high commissioner to Australia, Thisara Samarasinghe, and other military and political figures.