Sri Lanka orders action against soldiers in leaked video

Colombo, March 22: The Sri Lankan army Saturday ordered strict action against soldiers found harassing female recruits in a video circulating on the internet.

Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the video on YouTube was found to be authentic and the army was taking action against those guilty, Xinhua reported.

Wanigasooriya said that Army Commander Daya Ratnayake had ordered an investigation into the video after it first surfaced earlier this month.

The investigation carried out by the Sri Lanka Military Police had revealed that the video in question was an authentic one, the army spokesman said.

He said the incident depicted in the video had taken place in October 2012 at a camp in the north central Anuradhapura town where some female recruits were being trained.

The video shows soldiers harassing and assaulting the recruits with sticks during a training session.

“According to a preliminary report the instructors have punished the recruits for an act in violation of military discipline. However, the method adopted is not in accordance with standard procedures prescribed for such corrective punitive actions, the army spokesman said.

“It has been found that the individuals who carried out this excessive action had over stepped their mandate and acted in their own volition. Further, the punitive methods employed by the instructors were not in line with prescribed procedures.”

He said that considering these observations, the commander of the army has ordered the authorities to follow up on this case and take strict disciplinary action against all those who had violated the military code of conduct.

He has reiterated that there would be zero tolerance for conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline throughout the army.

IANS