The National People’s Power (NPP) has entrusted its national defence policy to a former Army officer whose contingent of Sri Lankan peacekeepers to Haiti stands accused of sexual exploitation of children.
Retired Major General Aruna Jayasekara unveiled the NPP’s national defence policy at the inaugural meeting of its membership of retired armed forces personnel.
The event took place at the auditorium of the National Youth Council in Maharagama under the patronage of JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake.
Jayasekara was the deputy commander of the Sri Lankan peacekeeping contingent sent to Haiti on November 03, 2005.
An internal UN OIOS inquiry found there had been systematic child sexual exploitation of children from 2004-07 by the Sri Lankan contingents.
As deputy commander of one of those contingents, Jayasekera should have been held accountable for the conduct of the troops under his command, which he was not.
He was promoted to the rank of major general in 2016 by the then good governance regime, which appointed him the eastern commander two years later.
‘The Sunday Times’ defence correspondent has reported the JVP leader has named Jayasekara as the defence minister of a future government by the NPP.
Jayasekera should have been held accountable for the conduct of the troops under his command, which he was not. Until his role in Haiti is credibly investigated and his role determined, he should not hold office, said ITJP and DJS – Sri Lanka in a report issued in 2019.
The NPP’s defence policy makes no mention of downsizing the Army or holding its members accountable for various crimes they are accused of having committed.