Defence Ministry denies claims by ex soldier

The Ministry of Defence has denied claims made by a former soldier, as reported in the Canadian media, that he was asked by the army top brass to kill a Tamil politician during the war.

The soldier, Ravindra Watudura Bandanage, a former captain in the Sri Lanka Army who went Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL ) in 2009, had also claimed that Tamils were tortured and beaten by the military during the conflict with the LTTE.

The Ministry of Defence said that Priyashantha, a resident of Galle, was an accomplished martial artist recognized for his prowess in Wushu.

During his stay in the Army Priyashantha was seen as a controversial character who was caught cheating at promotion exams and other actions which are deemed unbecoming for an officer or a gentleman, the Defence Ministry said.

During the final stages of the war Priyashantha was serving nowhere near the operational areas, the Defence Ministry added.

“In fact from 2006 until his desertion he was serving in and around Colombo. According to media reports he had claimed that he was ordered to place a bomb in the house of a Tamil politician by a Colonel is nothing but lie of a desperate man who had tried every trick in the book to fool the Immigration Officers to stake his claim for a refugee states in Canada,” the Defence Ministry said. (Colombo Gazette)