Photo* by Perambara
The Sunday Leader ran another interview with Sarath Fonseka, this one alleging that Gotabaya Rajapakse ordered surrendering LTTErs to be killed. Sarath seems to be on the phone with Frederica Jansz every week, without too much of a filter. I think the story may be true, probably is true, but not exactly prudent to tell.
The post, which has almost 1000 comments now, posits that
General Fonseka the then Army Commander said he had no information communicated to him in the final days of the war that three key LTTE leaders had opted to surrender to Sri Lanka’s armed forces as the battle drew to a bloody finish.
Fonseka charged that communications were instead confined between the LTTE leaders, Norway, various foreign parties, Basil Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament and the powerful senior adviser to the President and such information was never conveyed to him as he supervised the final stages of the war. “Later, I learnt that Basil had conveyed this information to the Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa – who in turn spoke with Brigadier Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army’s 58th Division, giving orders not to accommodate any LTTE leaders attempting surrender and that “they must all be killed.”
General Fonseka explained how on the night of May 17th this year desperate efforts of three senior LTTE leaders trapped in the war zone to save their lives failed as they were instead shot dead as they prepared to surrender to government forces.
This is probably true in the sense that it happened, and in the sense that Gotabaya did probably control the battlefield to that extent. The Geneva Conventions prescribes surrender under a white flag, but war is also war. For me the bigger moral issue is what happened to Prabhakaran’s family (including his preteen son). I think they were killed.
Whatever hot water this gets the government in, it gets Sarath Fonseka in more. He should be careful talking to the Sunday Leader and figure out what to leak to further his own ends. I think his staff is trying to retract this interview post-mortem, but it’s really too late.
*SRI LANKA, Colombo, November 29 – Former Army Commander and the subsequent Chief of Defence Staff Lt Gen Saratth Fonseka today announced that he would be challenging President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the January 26, 2010 Presidential election. “Can I win? Yes, I can,” Fonseka told a media conference attended by over 100 media personnel. (Amantha Perera/Perambara)