War crimes committed by UK mercenaries in Sri Lanka probed

War crimes committed by UK mercenaries in Sri Lanka probed

14 August 2020 12:39 am

Picture: Tamil Guardian

The Metropolitan Police have opened an investigation into the alleged war crimes committed by British mercenaries targeting the Tamil community in Sri Lanka.

The move is being made by the War Crimes division of the Metropolitan Police, following decades after UK military veterans trained and assisted government troops in Sri Lanka.

Earlier this year, journalist Phil Miller issued a controversial publication disclosing what it appeared to be how UK mercenaries together with Keenie Meenie Services, commonly known as the KMS, set up one of the most horrid military operations involving massacres in Sri Lanka. 

Shedding light on the matter, the Tamil Information Centre released a press urging the British government to immediately launch a probe, following which the United Nations' attention was also taken. Certain Tamil Diaspora groups had also raised the matter before the public eye.

The submission from the UN detailed the company’s activities, including flying armed helicopter assault operations and in one incident, Tamil Guardian reported.

According to TG report, the UN letter, signed by six Special Rapporteurs, goes on to state that it is alleged “KMS personnel were assigned senior roles in Sri Lanka’s military apparatus in relation to military operations and military intelligence, and that KMS reviewed Sri Lanka’s military command structure”.

Responding to the UN submission last week, the British government says it “takes very seriously the allegations raised”.

“In March 2020, the Metropolitan Police War Crimes Team, which is responsible for investigating war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and torture, and which is part of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, received a referral concerning war crimes alleged to have been committed by British mercenaries in Sri Lanka during the 1980s,” it said. 

Accordingly, the Metropolitan War Crimes Unit has launched a scoping exercise into the matter, in accordance with the Crown Prosecution Service's published guidelines for referrals of war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Nevertheless, the Unit declined further disclosure on the matter at this point of investigation, according to reports.