Fonseka to `expose` war crimes during civil war
Last Updated: Thursday, May 06, 2010, 19:48
  
Colombo: Detained Sri Lankan former Army Chief and war hero Sarath Fonseka today declared he would "expose" any war crimes committed during the final stages of the battle against the Tamil Tigers, as the government announced it was setting up a commission to probe alleged rights abuses.

"I will go out of may way" to assist any international probe, Fonseka told reporters after attending parliamentary proceedings. The war hero, who recently won parliamentary elections, said he would expose anyone who has committed any war crimes.

"I will not protect anyone, from the very top to the bottom," the former army chief told reporters.

Fonseka's comments comes as he has accused the Defence Secretary Gotobhaya, the younger brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, of ordering the execution of top surrendering Tamil Tiger rebels.

His threat came as a presidential office announced that Rajapaksa will soon appoint a seven member "Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation" Commission, to review the bloody three decades ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, including alleged rights abuses.

The Commission, which will have both local and foreign members, will also work out compensation to the affected civilians during the civil war that came to an end last May.

The announcement said the reconciliation commission will review the lessons learnt and ensure that there is no recurrence of such tragic conflict in future.

The probe "will search for any violations of internationally accepted norms of conduct in such conflict situations, and the circumstances that may have led to such actions, and identify any persons or groups responsible for such acts".

Sri Lanka's over three decades civil war ended in May 2009 after the military crushed the LTTE in their stronghold in the country's north. According to an UN estimate, more than 7,000 civilians were killed in last five months of the war.V Referring to his imprisonment, Fonseka described himself as a "political prisoner" and said he was being deprived of basic amenities in detention.

"I am not given all the newspapers and there is no proper ventilation in my place of detention," he said.

The former army chief said the Human Rights Commission had urged upon the government to allow him access to his close relations, though it had not been done so far.

Fonseka, who was accompanied by his wife Anoma, also complained of facing speech problems.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, May 06, 2010, 19:48


comments powered by Disqus