12/23/2009

Sri Lanka government begging for UN action against war crime charges agaisnt officials


(December 23, Colombo - Lanka Polity) In a very extraordinary move, Sri Lanka government is anticipating harsh action from the United Nations against the state heads. officials and Army even before the UN has considered such a move.

Government leaders campaigning for the re-election of the President Mahinda Rajapakse in the presidential scheduled to be held on January 26 is trying to seek political mileage from a detrimental statement made and later denied by the opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka at the cost of the future of the politicians, officials and soldiers. It is actually begging for action from UN even before replying to the letter of the UN seeking a clarification.

Former Sri Lankan Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, who is now the presidential adviser on national security, has warned that the recent allegations raised by presidential candidate and former Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka could affect the opportunity for Sri Lankan troops to be selected for UN peace keeping operations in Haiti and for overseas training, reported Daily Mirror newspaper.

Speaking on State television Karannagoda, who was known to be at serious rift with Fonseka when both were serving as chiefs of their respective forces, said that the allegations raised by Fonseka, though false, could open the doors for a fresh bid by the international community to level war crimes charges against the Sri Lankan military.

Sri Lanka state-owned Sinhala daily Dinamina said today quoting government leaders that the Army 58 division of which the ex-commander was ordered by Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse to kill the leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) was also facing a 'risk'. However, the newspaper did not describe the risk factor.

Karannagoda said to Dinamina newspaper that Sri Lanka would have to face a war crime trial and cited that the leaders of Bosnia were punished similarly by international war crime tribunal.

Sri Lankan law professor and Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris told a news briefing at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday that UN special Rapporteur Philippe Alston’s letter to Sri Lanka’s ambassador Kshenuka Seneviratne seeking an explanation on the highly damaging charges against Sri Lanka put the nation on the level of a pariah state that has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity that should be meted out strict punishments.

“It is clear that the detractors of Sri Lanka want to take the country before an International Tribunal like the Nuremburg Trials that tried Nazi leader Adolph Hitler and his accomplices for their war crimes during World War II. This will result in any Army, Navy or Air Force personnel being arrested in Europe, US, Canada or even in Japan for war crimes,” Prof. Peiris stressed.


Prof. Peiris said the other danger was that any US or European court could pass an order against Sri Lankan leaders and armed forces personnel and issue a warrant for arrest on charges of ‘Crime against Humanity’ in a similar manner they arrested late Chili strongman Augusto Pinochet.

There was a warrant against General Pinochet by a Spanish Court on charges of extrajudicial killings committed during his regime as the President which had also been adopted by England. He was arrested when he arrived in England for medical treatment and languished in jail for more than 4 1/2 years.

There is a direct threat against President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Commander in Chief, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the then Brigade Commander of the 58th  Brigade Major General Shavendra Silva and all members of the 58th Brigade according to the charges levelled against them by General Fonseka, he said.


Responding to a question raised by a journalist as to what would happen if Sri Lanka refused to give an explanation to the UN special Rapporteur, Prof. Peiris said it was obligatory for Sri Lanka to explain as she is a member of the UN.

“We are bound to explain or they will accept it as an acceptance of the charges if not. Besides, the Security Council and the EU may pass resolutions against Sri Lanka if we did not respond positively. The government is doing its utmost to minimize the damage caused. A team of legal experts headed by Attorney General will look into the modalities in preparing the explanation,” he added.



10 comments:

  1. Sarth Fonseka is in this race to get a personal revenge from Gotabaya Rajapakse, his former boss. Sarath knows very well that he is not going to win this election so he is running a campaign of "HATE" with vicious personal attacks to nail his former boss Gota.

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  2. Fedrica Janze shoot at Gotabaya, but unfortunately it's backfired at her, slowly she pass to SF and made him a Scapegoat, She all made THE MESS..when he already said he got know from 'SOME JOURNALIST' but she wrote that he himself quoted directly that Gota Dit it.
    Comments foolishly published as per MR HENCHMEN aiyays slogans.

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  3. Can anyone put a value to the tape Fedrica has? This is going to be the most sought after "Tape" in Sri Lanka as well as by all the human rights organizations in the world. You will hear about this tape from Supreme Court of Sri Lanka to international courts. This little piece of recording equipment is priceless today.

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  4. By the way, can one of those SF followers remind SF to stop insulting “Computer Operators”. Job is a Job whether you are a Janitor or a System Administrator, people need to respect every profession. SF needs to come out of this prejudice mindset without being a real “stereotype” bigot.

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  5. What Gotabhaya did in America is not very important to the SL voters at the upcoming presidential election.What they seriously take into account is how Gotabhaya had deserted the army while the rest including the General stayed fighting the terrorism to bring back peace to the country so that Gotabhaya could come back and establish his presence in SRI LANKA.For that, Gotabhaya has to be grateful to those who hadn't run away with him looking for greener pastures.

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  6. there are much more serious allegations made by the politicians against Sri lanka from time to time But no actions been taken.Gotabaya Rajapaksha has signed a security agrrement with USA which enable them to use Sri lanka as a security base.Which is the biggest ever betrayal of the nation,If Gen: Fonseka is charged with war crimes what action will be taken against Gotabaya Rajapaksha by the governemtn?

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  7. I am sure the Generals who stayed back, while sending their kids to the USA at the expense of poor Sri Lankan tax payers, and keeping the option of "GREEN CARD" handily in one hand, did a great service to the country before Gotabaya and Mahinda came to the scène by letting thousands and thousands poor village kids who joined the army being massacred by the LTTE. Tell these stories to kids who were born after 2005.

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  8. Jayalal, if an international court decides to lay war crime charges against Sri Lanka it will not cherry pick who they are going to lay charges against like the way your partisan brain works. Court will charge the Commander-in-Chief (President), Defence Secretary, Army commander and other senior Officers who were involved in the crime.

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  9. This article is trying to ignore the severity of SF statement detrimental to Sri Lanka as a whole. It is an attempt to blame the SL government instead of SF, attempt to clean his image. It will not be possible any more. Just last night SF did another blunder! He agreed to TNA's requests which include the following. 1. Release 12,000 Tiger suspects held in detention under a common amnesty.
    2. Remove all high security zones in the north east.
    3. Reduce the number of army camps in the north and east.

    He himself is the one who wanted the army increased to 300000 to protect the country after the end of the war. Why is he deviating from that view now? It is obvious that the tamil vote is what he is looking at disregarding his previous view. Agreeing to these conditions negate the efforts of the four forces for three decade and ignoring the loss of live of 17000 soldiers many civilians and the efforts of the government. He is not suitable to be the leader of the coutry for sure.

    Although the corruption, nepotism and 100+ ministers are unacceptable the MR government will never look only at the vote and ignore the country!

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  10. In Sri Lanka The War Crimes must be investigated, Its as simple as that. If found guilty they must be punished to prevent reccurance. Loaded with hatred, various commanders are blind to this one naked fact

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