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article imageSri Lankan Defense Secretary threatens to execute Sarath Fonseka Special

By Andrew Moran     Jun 8, 2010 in World
Colombo - Former army chief of the Sri Lankan forces, Sarath Fonseka, has been threatened with execution if he continues to insist that the government committed war crimes during the final hours of the decades-old civil war with the Tamil Tigers.
The crisis in Sri Lanka continues as thousands of Tamils still remain inside the internal displacement camps and many who were released have no home to return to. However, Sri Lankan Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne says Tamil rebels are re-emerging despite no attacks, reports AFP.
A brief history of Fonseka’s claims
For the last few months, former army general Sarath Fonseka has accused the Sri Lankan government of committing war crimes during the final stages of the civil war between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan forces.
Fonseka, who was a Presidential candidate in the 2010 Presidential election where he lost to incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, is now in military detention facing a court martial. According to Nidahasa News, during Fonseka’s candidacy, he told a local newspaper that Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa ordered army officers to shoot and kill LTTE leaders who surrendered.
Sri Lanka’s response
In an interview with BBC News, the Defense Secretary stated that Fonseka was a liar and a traitor. Rajapaksa then threatened that if Fonseka divulged any information to any investigation panels of alleged war crimes and if he continued to accuse top Sri Lankan officials of war crimes then he could face execution by hanging.
Tamil Protests in Toronto
On Friday, Digital Journal captured photographs of Tamil protesters in front of the United States and Indian Embassies in Downtown Toronto
Andrew Moran
“He can't do that. He was the commander. That's a treason. We will hang him if he do that. I'm telling you… How can he betray the country? He is a liar, liar, liar."
The Defense Secretary also ruled out the possibility of an international, third-party investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan security forces and the LTTE, reports the Press Trust of India.
“We are an independent country; we have the ability to investigate all these things.”
“Justice delayed is nothing but Justice denied”
The Coalition to Stop the War in Sri Lanka (CSWSL) immediately condemned the Sri Lankan government for threatening Fonseka’s life. Toronto spokesperson for CSWSL, Senthan Nada, stated that the international community has repeatedly called for international inquiries, such as the High Commissioner for the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Navaneethan Pillai.
“In the latest interview with Al Jazeera, the Sri Lankan President categorically denied that, no civilians were killed by his army, and accused the rights groups including UNHRC chief also having their own agenda to discredit him and his country,” said in an e-mail to Digital Journal. “It is a sad state for sanity when the UN itself has released numbers at one point of the war, that more than 7,000 civilians were killed and describing the situation as “Blood Bath on Beach.”
Tamil Protests in Toronto
Tamil protesters in front of the United States Consulate and Consulate of India in Downtown Toronto.
Andrew Moran
The Toronto activist and spokesperson also stated that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has vehemently rejected the idea of an international inquiry into Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes and human rights violations.
“They buried civilians alive, including women and children and have slaughtered 40,000 civilians and 50,000 maimed just in the final days of the military onslaught early last year.” Nada adds, “It is imperative that unless Sri Lanka’s ‘war criminals’ are punished for their crimes against Humanity, the Sri Lankan Model would become a nightmare in the future for the world to comprehend."
Nada concludes that “just delayed is nothing but justice denied” because approximately 100,000 Tamil civilians remain inside the detention facility.
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