Human rights groups led by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), in South America have filed war crimes lawsuits against former General Jagath Jayasuriya who is now Sri Lankan ambassador to Brazil, Al Jazeera reported today.
The lawsuits against Jayasuriya alleged that he oversaw military units that attacked hospitals and killed, disappeared and tortured thousands of people in the final phase of the war in 2009.
Jayasuriya has diplomatic immunity in Brazil and five other countries where he is ambassador - Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Suriname.
But the groups pursuing the suits hope they will compel regional governments to open investigations of Jayasuriya, remove his immunity and expel him, the article said.
Carlos Castresana Fernandez, the lawyer who is coordinating the effort, has told a foreign news agency that suits have been filed on Monday in Brazil and Colombia.
Petitions will be filed in Argentina, Chile and Peru in the coming days, he said, adding that authorities in Suriname had refused to accept the petition.
"This is one genocide that has been forgotten, but this will force democratic countries to do something. This is just the beginning of the fight," Fernandez said.
Al Jazeera said calls to the Sri Lankan embassy in Brazil went unanswered Monday evening as did an email seeking comment.
The suits say Jayasuriya was the commander of the Vanni Security Force from 2007 to 2009.
According to the suits, Jayasuriya oversaw an offensive from Joseph Camp in the northern town of Vavuniya.
The ITJP said it interviewed 14 people who survived torture or sexual violence at the camp.
"There is no way General Jayasuriya can claim not to have known that torture routinely occurred in his camp; there were purpose built underground torture chambers, equipped with manacles, chains and pulleys for hoisting victims upside down. If the detainees could hear each other screaming at night from adjacent buildings, so could he," ITJP's Executive Director Yasmin Sooka said in March.