Sri Lankan says ready to answer UN letter on humanitarian law violation

16:53, December 23, 2009      

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The Sri Lankan government said Wednesday they will reply the UN letter which was calling for explanations on the recent statement of former Chief of Defense Staff and Army Commander General (Retd) Sarath Fonseka.

Sri Lankan Minister of Export Development and International Trade Professor G. L. Peiris told reporters that the government has already made aware all Sri Lankan missions overseas in this regard.

Peiris said that Gen. Fonseka, who is the common candidate of opposition parties for the forthcoming Presidential election to be held on Jan. 26, 2010, is trying to obtain political mileage. But it is not good for the country.

The United Nations has, following allegations made by Fonseka of war crimes committed by Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Major General Shavindra de Silva, called for an explanation from Sri Lanka on the death of leading LTTE cadres of the Liberations Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the end stages of war against LTTE in May this year.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Phillip Alston, has asked the government to provide explanations with regard to the circumstances leading to the death of three senior LTTE cadres and their families during the final stages of military operations against the LTTE.

The demand for the explanations follows the recent statement made by Gen. Fonseka alleging that such killings had taken place. The statement was made during an interview reported by Sri Lankan English language weekly The Sunday Leader on Dec. 13, 2009.

A letter, by the UN Special Rapporteur Alston, addressed to Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratna, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka at the UN Office in Geneva, states:

"These allegations were made by the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army at the time of the events and subsequent Chief of Defense Staff (now retired) General Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka, in an interview to the newspaper The Sunday Leader. The accounts of journalists embedded with the SLA 58th Brigade confirm some of the alleged circumstances of the death of Messers Nadeshan, Pulidevan and Ramesh and their families".

However, Fonseka denied the statement and said that the newspaper has misquoted him.

He said that the Sri Lankan Army never violated humanitarian laws in the process of crushing Tamil Tiger rebels and that he is ready to answer before the law, locally or internationally, if any accusation of humanitarian law violation is proved.

Source: Xinhua
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