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Last updated: 18 March, 2008 - Published 17:24 GMT
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JVP 'appreciated' 88-89 crackdown
Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera
Gen. Perera says he still maintains close links with senior JVP leaders
Senior leaders of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has appreciated the work of armed forces during the late 80s, a retired senior army officer said.

Maj. Gen. (retd.) Janaka Perera told BBC Sandeshaya that many JVP leaders were misinformed of the activities of Sri Lanka armed forces to defeat JVP uprising in late 80s.

Over 60,000 people, majority of them Sinhala youths, were killed during the second uprising of the JVP.

JVP founding leader Rohana Wijeweera and all Politbureau members, apart from current leader Somawansa Amerasinghe, were among those killed.

'Era of terror'

Senior armed forces officials, including Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera, are accused of gross human rights violations during the government crackdown which was called as 'era of terror'.

"Mr. Amerasinghe and Vijitha Herath admitted I did not do anything wrong," Maj. Gen. Perera told BBC

JVP founding leader Rohana Wijeweera
Mr. Wijeweera and many senior JVP leaders were killed in late 80s

He however admitted that many JVP leaders earlier accused him of gross human rights violations.

Publishing eyewitness accounts of torture in which Gen. perera was the officer in charge, rights wachdogs including Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has accused Gen. Perera of "responsible for atrocities".

"Sometimes groups as large as 20 persons were brought from one single village. Usually all of them were killed," a former detainee in a camp in which Maj. Perera was the officer in charge has told AHRC.

Eyewitness accounts on torture

Maj. Gen. Perera denied the accusations.

"I was only doing my duty as a soldier".

He has saved the lives of many JVP leaders in 1971, Gen. Perera said, and still maintain close links with some of them.

 Mr. Amerasinghe and Vijitha Herath admitted I did not do anything wrong
Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera

Maj. Gen. Perera on Tuesday launched a charity, Lakjaya Foundation, in an attempt to help victims of the war between the government and the LTTE.

As a person who clearly understands the brutality and the destruction of war, he said, the Foundation will focus on helping all sections of the society affected by war.

He categorically denied any link with the main opposition, United National Party (UNP).

"This foundation has nothing to do with the UNP," Gen. Perera said.

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