11/03/2009

Sri Lanka rulers fight back the US move to frame war crime charges; coalition party vows to teach US an unforgettable lesson


(November 03, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Sri Lanka's ruling coalition party, arch Sinhala Buddhist Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) vows to teach US an unforgettable lesson in the country if it continues to take action to frame war crime charges against the country.

In a statement issued with the signature of the secretary of JHU Buddhist monk Rev. Omalpe Sobhitha Thero, the party declines a US attempt to manipulate former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka as a witness to frame charges against Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse. The statement further says that the attempt to detain the former Army Commander during his visit to US is in breach of the sovereignty of the nation.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama said in a press conference today, " whatever General Fonseka may have become aware of during his service with the Government and in the course of his duties, has the status of privileged information. He has no authority to divulge or share this information with third parties, without the prior approval and consent of the Sri Lanka authorities.”  The government said it would strongly object to any move by the US Homeland Security Department to question Chief of Defense Staff General Sarath Fonsekaa saying the Government of Sri Lanka will under no circumstances, authorize such an illegal act.

Fonseka, a US Green Card holder, is now in Oklahoma and the Department of Homeland Security has asked him to avail himself for an interview on Wednesday and Sri Lankan politicians are in panic since they doubt that Washington is asserting its legal authority over the 'war crimes' report" released last month.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka media reported that Fonseka had written to the Sri Lankan Ambassador in US stating that US officials asked him to testify against the Defense Secretary over war crime charges.

The former Army Commander is slated by media as a probable contender for common opposition candidacy at an upcoming Presidential. He is an arch Sinhala nationalist that stated in an interview to Canada’s National Post in September 2008, he “strongly believed that Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhalese, but there are minority communities and we treat them like our people”, and of the other communities “They can live in this country with us. But they must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue things.”

The 68-page report from the US Department of State to the Congress on October 22 contains details of alleged “atrocities” by both the military and Tiger guerrillas during the final stages of the separatist war in May, this year. The report contains a reference to Gen. Fonseka. It says, “A media outlet reported on July 18 that at a celebrity event in Ambalangoda, Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka stated that the military had to overlook the traditional rules of war and even kill LTTE rebels who came to surrender carrying white flags during the war against the LTTE.”
(Photo: Ruling party MP Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thero)


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