(zf) Gotabaya Rajapaka, Sri Lanka’s former defense secretary and potential future presidential candidate, is facing several federal U.S. lawsuits over alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. Although Mr. Rajapaka holds dual U.S.-Sri Lankan citizenship, he plans to renounce his U.S. passport. It is unclear whether the renouncement was initiated as a reaction to the legal action taken against him or for domestic political reasons.

He is facing two separate lawsuits in the U.S. The first involves accusations of complicity in torture regimes during the war, and the second deals with the death of a journalist. Rajapaka denies both charges and claims they are politically motivated. He is the brother of former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the leader who oversaw the transition from nearly 26 years of intermittent civil war. As the fighting wound down, both men publically rejected calls for an international investigation into alleged crimes during the war. [Reuters] [Wall Street Journal]