Dear Genaral Fonseka
It has come to our attention as members of the Sri Lankan Diaspora in Sydney that your remarks in the “Sunday Leader” regarding the fact that the final stage of the war has created risky situation to the people of Sri Lanka. Although you tried to clarify the remarks, it was too late to correct the facts as detrimental comments spread all over the world within a short period of time by damaging Sri Lanka’s image.
We also noted your claim that the war against the LTTE was won due to your leadership as the Commander of the Army. Although we appreciate your leadership for advancing the army to the wining position, it is our opinion that your commanding position was heavily supported by the Air Force , Navy, Police and other military forces together with other national and international forces which were in place, without your knowledge as the Army Commander.
According to the structure of the Department of Defence in Sri Lanka, it is a known factor that Secretary of the Department has a vital role in co-ordinating all forces under the ministry and providing necessary resources to the relevant areas. We believe that Gotabaya Rajapaksha provided strong co-ordinating leadership at the war providing all necessary resources including aircrafts, ships, vehicles and personals through his department under guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister for Defence in Sri Lanka. The credit for the victory in defeating terrorism should go to all who worked together at that time including members and leaders of all forces including yourself, secretary, president members of the international community as well.
It is also worthwhile to draw your attention that some foreign parliamentarians gave strong political back up for creating a peaceful situation in Sri Lanka by strongly condemning the LTTE as one of the most notorious terrorist organizations in the world. In this sense I need to remind you that Senator Steve Hutchins in Federal Government of Australia made consistent speeches in federal floor supporting Sri Lanka, to make it a peaceful nation for all kind of people in the world. As an Army commander at the time of the war you should appreciate President Mahinda Rajapaska for leading supporters of the international community towards weakening its
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Dear Genaral Fonseka
Posted by media at 10:53 AM
Sri Lankan Buddhist monks take part in a demonstration in Colombo yesterday in support of the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapakse in the presidential elections to be held in January 2010.
The monks support Rajapakse in his fight against his main challenger and former army chief General Sarath Fonseka, whom they allege is an agent of foreign forces.
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Posted by media at 12:37 AM
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Dec 29, Colombo: Adding to the political drama in the run up to the presidential elections, former Navy Commander is claiming damages from the former Army commander for defamation.
Former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda has sent a letter demanding 500 million rupees in damage for defamation from the opposition presidential candidate and former military chief General Sarath Fonseka, the Government Media Unit reported.
The former Navy Chief says a statement made by the former military chief at an interview with a private television channel on the 24th of December 2009 is per se defamatory of him.
According to a report by the Government media, in the letter of demand sent to General Fonseka, Admiral Karannagoda has claimed that a remark made by the General about him was malicious and has in fact tarnished his good name, reputation and public image, thereby causing him irreparable loss and damage.
The demanded sum of Rs. 500 million should be paid within 14 days and in the event of failing and/or neglecting to pay and settle the said sum legal action will be instituted against General Fonseka to recover the said sum, the letter said.
It has often been reported that the former commanders had personal rivalries and did not have an amicable relationship during their tenures.
Posted by media at 11:29 PM
Professor Rohan Gunaratna is Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the author of several books on the Sri Lankan conflict reiterates that the LTTE international itself is under mounting pressure, which should be capitalized by the government and the opposition coming together to dismantaling the outfit completely. He also notes however that while pragmatic LTTE leaders overseas are keen to handover the LTTE assets to the Sri Lankan government, the faction led by Nediyawan are fighting to continue subversion, destabilization, and terrorism. “It is paramount for the Sri Lankan government and the people to work closely with LTTE leaders willing to reject violence and embrace co-existence. In the larger interest of reconciliation, the Sri Lankan government should provide immunity to those leaders willing to help Sri Lanka to recover from three decades of conflict.”
Professor Rohan Gunaratna
•What did the UN do when LTTE ethnically cleansed tens of thousands of Muslims, repeatedly massacred thousands of poor Sinhala and Muslim villagers?
•The process of mapping LTTE assets by the international intelligence community is nearing completion and the process of acquisition will continue in the next few years.
•Merchant Vessel (MV) Princess Christanta was acquired from an Asian country by a special team dispatched by Secretary Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
•The government and the parliamentary opposition must unite to dismantle the LTTE international network.
•To sustain peace in Sri Lanka, Ponniah Anadarajah, a double accountant needs to be tracked and detained.
Q:UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara last week challenged the government to provide proof about the vessel “Princess Christanta,” to confirm whether it was really an LTTE vessel or belonged to a private company. He claims that he had information about the vessel as one that had been purchased in Jakarta, Indonesia, through the mediation of a Sri Lankan Naval Officer. How do you compare these allegations with information available to you?
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Posted by media at 12:45 PM
Colombo, 29 December, (Asiantribune.com):
In case Sarath Fonseka is defeated in the forthcoming Presidential election, there is a plan to take over the country by force, it is reliably learnt. The Contingency Plan - 2, that has now come to the fore, is to be put into operation just immediately after the elections results are announced on 27th January 2010, reliable sources say.
According to the plan -2, faithful soldiers are to surround the Temple Trees, the official residence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, arrest the President and take him to a secret hideout. Also the plan includes a move to arrest and mercilessly kill Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary and other members of the President’s family.
Once the country is taken over in a bloody coup, those Army Attaches who are posted in several Sri Lankan Embassies overseas will assume position as Country’s Ambassadors and negotiate with America and European Union countries for the recognition of the new regime that took over the country.
As prelude to the bloody take over report emerging out of Colombo, it is revealed that Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna, the Marxist oriented pro-Sinhalese party has completed the first round of the house to house campaign in support of Sarath Fonseka’s candidature on one side and also gauged those who remain confidential to him, by meeting the retired Army soldiers, deserters, volunteer force members and one third of the regular soldiers.
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Posted by media at 12:00 PM
Monday, December 28, 2009
Guttila-Musila Re-enactment - One who is ungrateful to his appointer will surely be ungrateful to his electors.
The Guththila-Musila story is a popular Buddhist Jataka story. Guttila was a musician par excellence serving king Brahmadatta in the North Indian city of Benares. Musila was an ambitious young man keen on learning the Veena. But when Musila approached Guttila, he was refused. Undeterred, Musila stays in Guttila’s house and attends to his blind parents. Consequently, Guttila agrees to teach him. At first Musila faithfully learns. However, once he attained competency he challenges not only Guttila but also his career. Instead of performing at his native city of Udeni, Musila decides to perform in Benares, Guttila’s own city. Without stopping at that he demands from the king that he should replace Guttila. The king arranges a contest. After an epic performance Guttila emerges the better of the two. Along with it people come to know how ungrateful and narrow minded Musila had been and evict him from the kingdom. As Buddhist teachings are eternal, the relevance of this Jataka story is also everlasting. In fact the Guttila-Musila drama is re-enacted in Sri Lanka today!
It was HE Mahinda Rajapaksa under the instructions of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (his brother) who appointed Sarath Fonseka to the post of Army Commander in 2005 just 12 days to go for his retirement. It is said that at first the President had objected to Gotabaya’s recommendation because Fonseka had a multitude of offences concerning morality. However, after his brother’s repeated instructions, the President had agreed. Before long, Fonseka displayed his inadequacies. While the President was trying hard to sustain Indian support for the war, which was critical, Fonseka made a scandalous comment against some senior Indian politicians. At the height of the war, he called Tamil Nadu politicians jokers. It was such an unintelligent statement and the government had to immediately apologise on behalf of him to retain critical Indian support. He didn’t stop at that. He made another unwise statement to a Canadian newspaper. He said that he believed that Sri Lanka belonged to the Sinhalas. His statement was widely criticised as being racist but the government stood by him and cleared his name and the good name of the nation while the war was raging.
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Posted by media at 11:28 PM
Posted by media at 7:58 PM
Colombo, 27 December, (Asiantribune.com):
The China Radar deal punctures the claim.
In fact, the deal also raises several serious questions, which the former army chief alone can reply.
1. What was the rationale to reject the Raytheon offer to refurbish the existing radars?
2. Did any technical committee evaluate the Raytheon offer? If so, was the offer found technically sound?
3. Did Raytheon guarantee that after refurbishment the ANTPQ -36 radars would get fresh lease of effectiveness?
4. What was the justification to go in for China radars?
5. Was there any technical evaluation before the government signed a deal with the Chinese supplier?
6. Was the army or government aware of the presence of middleman, Hicorp, a company of army chief’s son-in-law?
7. Did the Chinese radars function effectively during the Wanni War?
8. Did the CID question Danuna Tilakaratne in connection with radar and other deals where in he and Hicorp figure?
General Fonseka - has to answer our questionsBy now it has become a set routine for Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka to deny any wrong doing as army commander.
But his every denial prompts Asian Tribune to dig deep into his past and unearth something to unsettle him. Yet, instead of offering his side, the retired general goes into an overdrive to run down Asian Tribune in interviews to various Sinhala publications.
Why he is not coming forward to articulate his denial in the Asian Tribune itself remains a puzzle. Is it because politicians don’t generally like to send a rebuttal to publications as the editors have the inherent right to put each sentence of the denial under a microscope and juxtapose the denials with the original allegations.
Media pundits and commentators aver that the former army chief is not serving his own cause by not using AT columns to put forth his side.
The non-denial through Asian Tribune is not a disincentive to AT though.
We have just come across a Radar Gate -kickbacks in a radar deal
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Posted by media at 11:28 AM
Sunday, December 27, 2009
That is now in UN hands
Sarath Fonseka has been made the presidential candidate only after he submitted an affidavit revealing all true information regarding war to the US State Secretary on Southeastern Asia Affairs Robert o’ Blake. He has handed in the affidavit secretly to Blake as he visited US recently.
He has revealed certain facts regarding some incidents that took place during that period. He has given false definitions to many incidents to show them as true.
US has now handed in a copy of this document to UN. UN has reportedly taken action against the Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse and Major General Shavendra Silva based on a press statement of Fonseka in this backdrop.
We are to receive more secret information soon and we will release a copy of the relevant affidavit in due course.
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Posted by media at 2:38 AM
Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune
Nathaniel Raymond (L) has been leading the investigation into the alleged 2001 Dasht-e-Leili massacre in Afghanistan. Dr. Jennifer Leaning (R) discovered the mass grave of Taliban prisoners. Both work with the organization Physicians for Human Rights.The Boston-Massachusetts-based Physicians for Human
Rights (PHR) has renewed its call for a criminal probe in the wake of a major New York Times story with new evidence that the Bush Administration impeded at least three federal investigations into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan in 2002.
PHR is calling for Obama administration’s Department of Justice to investigate why the Bush administration impeded an FBI criminal probe of the alleged Dasht-e-Leili massacre.
According to US government documents obtained by the PHR, as many as 2,000 surrendered Taliban fighters were reportedly suffocated in container trucks by Afghan forces operating jointly with the US in November 2001. The bodies were reportedly buried in mass graves in the Dasht-e-Leili desert near Sheberghan, Afghanistan.
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Posted by media at 2:26 AM
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Sarath Fonseka reiterated the controversial statement he made to the Sunday Leader newspaper in the rally held in Rathnapura Lorry Park co-organized by the JVP and the UNP. (Watch video)
“The Defense Secretary has issued some wrongful directives time to time talking recklessly. May be he has been strangled by the tie knot that was not untied for four years. The media persons that were embedded with the forces were aware of them. I have said what they told me. If someone ordered the mean act of shooting at those who were holding white flags, I am not ready to give my chest to save them,” said Fonseka.
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Posted by media at 12:58 PM
Friday, December 25, 2009
Admiral says SLN hunted down floating arsenals although its fleet was vulnerable
by Shamindra Ferdinando
An LTTE vessel recently seized and brought to Colombo by the Sri Lanka Navy had been among five ships acquired by the group during the Eelam War IV though they could not be used at least once to smuggle in weapons.
Unlike the eight LTTE-operated vessels hunted down on the high seas from September, 2006 to October, 2007, the fleet of five ships bought legitimately had been registered with Lloyds.
Government sources told The Island that most of the vessels, if not all were of Japanese origin and were bought through front companies. Sources said that the vessels, including the one brought to Colombo were constantly under surveillance during the war with the help of foreign intelligence services. A six-man SLN team comprised four officers and two men had stealthy infiltrated a harbour situated at a remote island in South East Asia about a month ago to take control of the 90-metre ship, sources said.
The LTTE had abandoned the vessel in April/May after failing in their bid to mount a rescue operation.
Former Navy Commander Admiral (Rtd) Wasantha Karannagoda yesterday told The Island that the LTTE threw some 6,000 rounds of mortars overboard from one of the ships at the last stages of the war. Once they knew that they could not breach the SLN blockade on the last LTTE stronghold at Mullaitivu, the enemy had no option but to discard their arsenal. He said that by early this year, the Sea Tigers lost their wherewithal to challenge the SLN not only on the high seas but coastal waters as well.
Government sources said that of the remaining four ships, one had been in the custody of Canada since October. Sources pointed out that unlike the vessel seized by the SLN, the ship now in Canadian custody had arrived at an Indian port after the end of the war in May. Sources said that the ship had left an Indian port last September before being intercepted in Canadian waters. Sources expressed confidence that Canada and India would cooperate on this issue in a bid to identify LTTE terrorists among the 76 persons, who tried to reach Canada illegally in the detained LTTE ship.
Sources said that they were in the process of tracking down LTTE assets, including remaining ships as part of an intelligence operation conducted under the purview of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Karannagoda told State-run Rupavahini, early this week that he obtained President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s approval to launch operations on the high seas as his old fleet of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) could have been vulnerable. He revealed that they had to be ready for any eventuality as inclement weather could have caused trouble for the ageing fleet. "But the President gave us the approval," he said adding that only the President and the Defence Secretary knew exactly what was going on. He said that the bottom line is that their operations targeting eight LTTE ships could have gone wrong and SLN ships lost on the high seas in bad weather. The SLN hit LTTE ships in four separate operations far away from land.
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Posted by media at 1:02 PM
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The official website of Mahinda Rajapaksa Presidential election campaign 2010 [www.mahinda2010.lk] was launched by President Mahinda Rajapaksa today (Dec 24) at President's House in Kandy.
President Rajapaksa also introduced his Facebook page for the 2010 campaign [www.facebook.com/mahinda2010].
Posted by media at 11:53 PM
by Ajit Randeniya
Philip Alston is a very busy man. Since 2004 he has been occupying one of the UN ‘Special Rapporteur’ positions, a la Radhika Coomaraswamy and other ‘pets’ of those who run the world from their US, EU and UN bases.
Alston’s job description emphasises the need for ‘visits’ to countries around the world to investigate allegations of all those horrible crimes the ‘non-white’ world is renowned for, and has to be saved from. He has been ‘crying out’ for a visit to Sri Lanka for quite a while; his latest plea was on 31 August 2009 when he called for the urgent establishment of an independent investigation into the authenticity of “a video alleged to show the extrajudicial execution of two naked and helpless men by the Sri Lankan army and the presumed prior execution of a number of others”- the fake.
Usually the allegations he ‘investigates’ are made by separatist movements and their backers in the developing world and all the western government-run INGOs ‘Without Borders’, and other operatives who have infiltrated the UN system, UNICEF in particular.
In Sri Lanka’s case, an ex-military commander who has been cultivated for a considerable time by the US embassy in Colombo, former Ambassador Robert Blake in particular, has greatly assisted Alston in planning the next trip. However, focusing on the American ‘tool’ that created the ‘stink’ is not worth its while because he will be in the dustbin of history following the announcement of presidential election result on 27 January 2010.
Judging by Alston’s most recent report of 27 October 2009 to the UN General Assembly’s Third Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, he does not seem to have achieved much in terms of saving lives, or the rights of the dead, around the world. His recent visits to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Colombia, the United States and Kenya have all failed to yield any results. These countries have clearly and succinctly asked him where to deposit his reports; he was lucky that the reports are printed on A4 paper, and they can be rolled up easily!
However, the Sri Lankan government, may find some of the content of Alston’s report useful in responding to that ‘letter’. Alston reported that the United States, in response to his queries about the thousands of civilian deaths caused by the use of drones and “Predators” in Pakistan and Afghanistan, “claimed that the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly, by definition, had no role in relation to killings that took place during armed conflict”. He went on to say: “that position is untenable, and would remove the great majority of issues that came before those bodies”.
Clearly, the US position Alston is complaining about is another example of the cynical, deceitful and shameless manner in which the corrupt US system distorts ‘the laws’ they themselves create, to justify their crimes; obviously, the laws are only for the consumption of the gullible. At a secondary level, most ex-bureaucrats would empathise with Alston’s consternation over the definite loss of UN paid first class travel and accommodation the US position will ensue!
Alston’s response to the (naked) emperor’s legal contention has been typically weak-kneed, and un-befitting of a supposed Australian professor of Law; he asked for the ‘legal basis’ on which it [the US] was operating, and indicate, in terms of domestic law, who was running the [drones] program, and what ‘accountability mechanisms’ were in place in relation to those organisations.
Alston is merely playing by the ‘rules’ of the Human Rights game; you don’t rigorously interrogate the self-appointed umpire. It is for the blacks!
However, the ‘kernel’ of the US position that any killings (proven, not ‘alleged’) that may occur during the course of armed conflict should not be treated similar to Human Rights violations that are perpetrated by oppressive regimes, or military men.
Notwithstanding Pawnseka’s hearsay based allegation, and his gutless retraction, even if the killings did actually take place, they clearly fall outside the substantive legal framework that defines “extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions” Alston is appointed to look in to. The focus of the legal framework that includes the Commission on Human Rights resolution 1992/72, the General Assembly resolution 45/162, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 6, 14 and 15 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is clearly distinct from the unplanned battle field actions.
This moral and legal argument however, should not apply to the US case because their atrocities in Afghanistan are occurring in the context of an illegal occupation and foreign war rather than an ‘armed conflict’.
What happened during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka was that the Sri Lankan army took necessary action to eliminate mindless terrorism and its perpetrators; Alston has no business in Sri Lanka.
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Posted by media at 11:03 AM
by Shamindra Ferdinando
About two months before the final battle on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon in May, the United States had offered to evacuate top LTTE leaders and their families.
The unprecedented proposal had been made by the then US Ambassador in Colombo Robert Blake after the Co-Chairs to the Sri Lankan peace process, spearheaded by the Norwegians agreed that the LTTE could no longer halt the army advance.
Although a section of the press in March 2009 speculated that the US was exploring the possibility of evacuating civilians trapped in the war zone, it can now be revealed that the actual move was to evacuate the LTTE leadership. Well informed sources told The Island that the US plan envisaged taking over 100 persons, including Velupillai Prabhakaran, Sea Tiger leader Soosai, Intelligence Wing leader Pottu Amman and their families.
Sources said that Ambassador Blake went to extent of calling US experts to Colombo to work out modalities regarding the deployment of US assets to evacuate the LTTE leadership discussed the possibility of deploying US vessels to carry out the evacuation.
Sources said that an aircraft from Hawaii carrying US experts touched down at the Bandaranaike International Airport following a dispute over formalities regarding landing rights. Sources said that the US embassy had alerted the government of the impending arrival of the aircraft only after it was airborne.
Responding to The Island queries, sources said that at one point the Sri Lankan government had suggested that Ambassador Blake should also consult New Delhi regarding the controversial evacuation plans.
While secret negotiations were taking place, the Army had advanced slowly but steadily into the remaining LTTE-held territory in the Mullaitivu district. By the second week of March, a multi-pronged ground offensive was eating into some 45 square km territory under LTTE control. At the beginning of the Sri Lankan offensive in September 2006, the LTTE had about 15,000 square km under its control.
Sources said that government forces could have finished off the Tigers earlier had the army carried out an all out attack regardless of civilian losses. In fact, UN Chief Ban-ki-moon had inquired why the government did not carry out an amphibious assault on the Mullaitivu beach to conclude the offensive as he flew over the Vanni battlefields.
Sources said that much talked about UN bid to save about 50 LTTE leaders and their families was made hot on heels of the failed US attempt. Sources said that had international operations to evacuate the LTTE leadership succeeded, Sri Lanka would have faced an extremely difficult situation and the so-called Eelam government in exile would not be a joke had they escaped.
The US and the UN had intervened on behalf of the influential Tamil Diaspora which continued to play a pivotal role even in the post-LTTE era. Sources said that those pushing US and western capitals were not only Sri Lankan Tamils but influential groups from South Africa and South East Asian countries.
After Sri Lanka had successfully thwarted international intervention, the LTTE on its own tried to use one of its vessels to evacuate Prabhakaran and his family, the sources revealed.
Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe last Monday (Dec 21) said that a 90-metre ship seized by a special SLN team was believed to have been involved in a last ditch attempt to rescue Prabhakaran. He said that a light chopper launched from the ship could have picked Prabhakaran as the army advanced on the last LTTE stronghold.
Fearing an LTTE operation, the navy deployed the bulk of its assets on the north-eastern waters while the SLAF stationed a pair of jets at the China Bay air base to meet any eventuality.
Once the 55 and 59 Divisions linked-up on the Mullaitivu beach, it was only a matter of time before the Tigers collapsed on the Vanni front.
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Posted by media at 2:09 AM
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
H. L. D. Mahindapala
Never in the annals of military warfare has an army commander led his forces successfully against the enemy and then turned around and fired indiscriminately on his own forces. But Sarath Fonseka, whose chest is overloaded with medals earned by the blood and sweat of his foot soldiers, will be remembered forever for doing just that. By accusing the forces of committing crimes they had never done, as stated by him, he has brought dishonour to himself, his army and the nation that stood by him all the way for him to claim the glory of victory which, according to him, was all due to him.
Army commanders are revered and honoured for being with his forces in times of war and peace. After the war they do not accuse their forces (falsely, if his denials are to be believed) of violating the basic norms of warfare. How can he now aspire to be the Commander-in-Chief of the forces when he is facing charges of falsely accusing his soldiers? His joining the enemies of the people whom he fought so bitterly at the height of the war is bad enough. But falsely accusing the soldiers who fought for him is unforgivable.
In one single act of running down his armed force he has wiped out all the glory that he acquired ever since Gotabaya Rajapakse put his weight behind him and got his brother, the President, to get him appointed as the Army Commander. There were many rivals in the field who were aiming to get that post. One of them was Janaka Perera who was brought down by Ranil Wickremesinghe to target Fonseka who was his junior in Jaffna. Ranil’s idea was to use the reputation of Janaka Perera, another war hero, to denigrate Fonseka.
They were bitter enemies. Janaka used to bad-mouth Fonseka as a man who never won a battle. He was most critical of Fonseka for carrying out an operation in Jaffna when Janaka had come down to Colombo for a brief spell. It was an ill-timed, and poorly organized operation conducted to gain kudos for Fonseka who was aiming to prove that he was a better commander than Janaka. It was one of the biggest fiascos in Jaffna. Janaka blasted Fonseka for carrying out an operation without consulting the high command.
Janaka came home (in Melbourne) to mend fences with me after he started attacking Fonseka. This was a couple of weeks before he joined the UNP campaign in the Central Province. He was very critical of Fonseka saying that he is not conducting the war efficiently with minimum losses and casualties. He was also critical that Fonseka was not cutting short the war with effective strategies. He said that dragging the war without an end in sight was causing battle fatigue, leading to loss of morale among the troops.
I told Janaka that if he was in Churchill’s army and if he carped on issues like what he told me he would have been cashiered within twenty four hours. Noticing a streak of jealousy and pique, I defended Fonseka, and told him that it was the duty of generals to keep up the morale as some wars can drag on for years. Knowing Fonseka and his performances in the Killali and other operations I had faith in him at that time and I felt in my bones that he could deliver the goods which he did.
During our conversation I reminded Janaka of how the Tigers got Lt. Col. Lucky Algama after he joined Ranil Wickremesinghe. I told him that those who joined Wickremesinghe ended up like those who joined Prabhakaran: in total disaster. Janaka dismissed it and smiled, brimming with his usual confidence. Before he left he turned back, half way down the verandah leading to the steps, and told me: “Don’t hit us, Mahinda!” Tragically, that was the last I saw of my friend Janaka.
Now Fonseka has joined Wickremesinghe and he is not faring any better. Fortunately, for him the Tigers are not there to target him once again. But my gut feeling is that the people will at the polls. Even the way the voting blocs are falling like dice indicate that he will have to carry his dying swan (his symbol) with him on January 26 as a consolation and go home listening to the last song. Ranil Wickremesinghe would have had a better chance of winning if he hitched his wagon to a lead balloon.
In the early stages Fonseka won waves of sympathy when the Tiger suicide bomber tried to get him. He was a battle-hardened soldier and his courage was as great as his ego. But it is his ego that finally brought him down. His ego was such that he refused to recognize the prime source of his power and success. It came essentially from his rapport with Gotabaya who lifted him up from oblivion and stood up for him after he helped to install him as the Army Commander.
Gotabaya not only covered his back all the way to Nanthi Kadal but was with him to give him all what was needed, especially military hardware and foot soldiers, to forge ahead in the battlefield. On one occasion when Fonseka’s Army was halted by the Tigers in Muhammalai with heavy casualties amounting to a loss of nearly 200 soldiers, even Ministers were going behind Gotabaya’s back and informing the President that war is not the way out and Fonseka can’t do the job. They told the President to stop the war and negotiate.
A dejected President was having serious doubts about the progress of the war and Fonseka’s capabilities and strategies. He summoned and questioned his Defence Secretary and it was the assurances given by Gotabaya that kept the war going to the end. He told the Commander-in-chief that Muhammalai was only one battle and not the end of the war. He added that the morale was high and that the soldiers were capable of defeating the Tiger who were on the run.
Of course, all three were indispensable links in the chain of command that won the war. Without the two links above him – the President and Defence Secretary – Fonseka could not have gone anywhere, either in his career or war front. Together they were the miracle-makers. Fonseka alone would have been a disaster as seen in his performance as a presidential candidate. His reputation and stature has taken a severe beating and – make no mistake — this is only the beginning because the ripples of his vindictive politics to get Gotabaya, his comrade-in-arms who gave him everything, are not going to end in a hurry. This will haunt him for the rest of his life.
And the enemies of the nation, both at home and abroad, are having field day with the consequences of his self-centered, vindictive politics. The result is there for everyone to see: the ominous letter of Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary execution, addressed to President Mahinda Rajapakse.
At least now, after reading Alston’s letter, Fonseka should realize the damage he has done to the image of the professional Army that braved all obstacles and marched all the way from Mavil Aru to Mullativu, led on the ground by brilliant field commanders like Maj-Gen. Shavendra Silva. Fonseka’s contribution to winning the war cannot be underestimated but his failure to consolidate the victories and honour his men and women will disgrace him forever. He is like the man who brings home a clean pale of milk and then drops a handful of cow dung into it.
Where’s the glory in that, eh?
However, as events unfold it is becoming increasingly clear that Fonseka and Wickremesinghe deserve each other. Both are clinging to each other and performing like “kahi gaani” (woman with the cough) and “hotu gaani” (woman with the snut). There isn’t much of a choice between the two.
Wickremesinghe hurriedly and desperately recruited Fonseka into his defeated army hoping to cash in on his reputation as a hero and a patriot. But Fonseka has lost both within a matter of days. He has lost the glamour of being a hero after he falsely accused his own men of committing crimes which they never did, according to him. And no patriot would join the enemies of the nation which Fonseka identified correctly and condemned unequivocally when he was serving as Army Commander under President Rajapakse.
Obviously, Fonseka cannot be trusted to honour his own words. The irrational way he denies today the promises and statements he made yesterday makes him look like a confused man who does not know his own mind. He has lost his road map and is at sixes and sevens. This raises a serious question and I ask it very reluctantly:: Has Fonseka overnight turned into Gon-seka?
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Posted by media at 10:54 AM
by Malin Abeyatunge
Sarath Fonseka's most devastating statement saying that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa illegally ordered Major-General Shavendra Silva to kill LTTE cadres who wished to surrender, has given ample ammunition to the western block of the international community.
Following it, the UN has already started to probe his statement seeking clarification from SLUN Representative in Geneva.
According to latest reports in the media (The Island, 22/12/2009) quote "The UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions, Philip Aston, has asked the government to provide explanations with regard to the circumstances leading to the deaths of three senior LTTE cadres and their families during the final stages of military operations against the LTTE". unquote.
Let me remind the UN Special Rapporteur Philip Aston what George E Bush quite rightly said in relation to Al Qaeda quote "Terrorist is always a terrorist. We have no business with terrorists unquote".
The same applies to LTTE terrorists as well.
We had no business with them.
The only terrorist one can trust is a dead terrorist or a terrorist in a picture.
Those three top LTTE cadres Pulidevan (Head of LTTE Peace Secretariat), Nadesan (‘police chief’ who boasted the LTTE will fight till the last to achieve Eelam) and Ramesh who were killed by our valiant soldiers were no saints. Neither were they guardian angels of the Tamils but a gang of Satans who had blood in their hands.
Major-General Shavendra Silva, the commander, has been accused by his own boss Sarath Fonseka for giving orders to kill these three and family members while carrying a white piece of cloth and attempting to surrender.
Have we got any proof that they were advancing with a white piece of cloth or at least a piece of soiled underpants (Amude)?
Or will they try another Channel 4 stunt and make a fake video?
What if the top three LTTE Tigers were camouflaging as an attempt to surrender (one of their skills) but start shooting the soldiers in the frontline?
Let me quote two recent incidents among many where one cannot trust a LTTE terrorist.
A suicide woman bomber camouflaged as a pregnant woman (using the symbol of motherhood) attempted to kill then Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka, killing many army officers and injuring the then Army Commander.
The second incident was when the ordinary poor Tamil civilians were fleeing from the LTTE tyranny during rescue operations.
There was a woman suicide bomber hiding among them, who blew herself up killing 26 civilians and army personnel at a checkpoint. This is the extent one can trust LTTE cadres.
Leave aside Sarath Fonseka's completely inaccurate hearsay statement, these three hardcore terrorists were not angels but would have come on a suicide mission with intention of shooting the army in the front line and getting killed themselves.
It's a pity that the UN has failed to probe into the killings of thousands of innocent civilians in the Iraq and Afghanistan war but investigating an incident where Sri Lanka army had to kill the three hardcore terrorists Pulidevan, Nadesan and Ramesh in self-defence.
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Posted by media at 10:45 AM
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Finally, as for his venomous utterances coterminous with war crimes charges, Fonseka is engaged in a self-defeating exercise. He who recently boasted of his political symbol, Swan, claiming that it was a wise creature capable of separating milk from water, has cooked his goose in grand style by giving vent to his pent up anger at the expense of the military personnel and political leaders who liberated this country from the scourge of terrorism.
When the UNF government infamously committed the treacherous act of having a safe house of the army long rangers raided in 2002, exposing their identities and causing them to be eliminated by the LTTE, people called it the biggest ever betrayal of the Sri Lanka army. But, former Army Commander Gen. (Retd) Sarath Fonseka has done something equally bad. He has levelled a serious war crimes charge against the Sri Lanka army and the government and given a turbo boost to the on-going international human rights witch-hunt against this country.
The UN has called for explanation from the Sri Lankan government over Fonseka's claim in an interview with The Sunday Leader on Dec. 13, 2009 that some journalists embedded with the army had confided to him that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa ordered Commander of the 58 Division Maj. Gen. (then Brigadier) Shavendra Silva to kill the LTTE leaders who offered to surrender. Later, apparently having got cold feet, Fonseka said he had been misquoted, but the Sunday Leader editor told a television channel that she stood by her news item.
Last Sunday, Fonseka issued a clarification claiming that no LTTE leaders had tried to surrender carrying pieces of white cloth and that he took the full responsibility for what the army had done during the final phases of the war. However, he did not say in his 'clarification' that he had been 'misquoted' in the press interview at issue, though he had made a much advertised claim to that effect at news conferences last week. He reiterated in his ‘clarification’ that he had learned from some journalists that the Defence Secretary conveyed an illegal order to Maj. Gen. Silva but 'this illegal order was however not carried out at ground level'. Fonseka has also stopped short of specifying that 'illegal order'. He ought to tell the public what it was, now that he has made a 'revelation' of sorts.
Whatever Fonseka now may say about the war crimes charge he made against Gotabhaya and Shavendra, the die is cast! The UN has swung into action, as we report today. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston has written to Sri Lankan Ambassador Extraordinary, Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva Kshenuka Senewiratne, seeking a clarification on Fonseka's allegation.
We pointed out in these columns, under the caption, An attempt at hara-kiri, on Dec. 14, that Fonseka's allegation posed a serious threat to Maj. Gen. Silva and Gotabhaya in that it was likely to be used against them internationally. The UN has already taken it up! The US has pledged its fullest support for the UN probe. How can Fonseka now boast that he thwarted an attempt by the Department Homeland Security during a recent US visit to elicit information on Gotabhaya as regards the war? He has made the worst allegation that a former army chief could level against a Defence Secretary and a junior officer!
The JVP revealed at a media briefing on Sunday, as we reported yesterday, that Gen. Fonseka had consulted it from the US on the Homeland Security request and it (JVP) had asked him to return to Sri Lanka immediately. This is ample proof that Fonseka was politically involved with the JVP while he was still in uniform, though he insisted after handing over his letter of resignation that he would not take to politics while he was in service. Having collaborated, while in uniform, with a bunch of anarchical political elements with a history of brutally murdering family members of security forces and police personnel who courageously defied an order by the southern terrorists to resign in the late 1980s, what moral right does Fonseka have to boast of military discipline and offer to discipline society?
Now that the UN has called for explanation, the government had better have Fonseka's allegation probed thoroughly because the newspaper concerned insists that he said what has been attributed to him. Else, the Defence Secretary and Maj. Gen. Silva will have that charge, though unsubstantiated, hanging like the Sword of Damocles. In this regard, it ought to be remembered that a British court recently issued a warrant to arrest former Israeli Foreign Minister and present Opposition Leader Tzipi Livini, who was to visit London, for alleged war crimes. She had to cancel her trip fearing arrest.
Although British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, a knight in shining armour crusading against human rights violations, was jolted by the warrant on Livini into calling for urgent changes to the British legal system to 'avoid this sort of situation from arising again', it is doubtful whether he and his government would ever hesitate to act on war crimes allegations against Sri Lankan politicians, bureaucrats and military personnel who happen to visit that country.
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Posted by media at 9:09 PM
H. L. D. Mahindapala
Even before the presidential election could get into first gear Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Vice President of the International Democratic Union (IDU) — a club of the right-wing Christians of the West including Bush, Blair and John Howard of Australia — is dodging the critical issue that is before the nation: Is he with his right-wing Christian leaders in the West pressing for tribunals to try Sri Lankan forces that waged a successful war against the Tamil Tiger terrorists or not?
When he was asked in India what his stand was on the allegations made by Gen. Sarath Fonseka against his own army Wickremesinghe told the Indian media that he has sought an explanation from the Sri Lankan government.
PTI reported: “Replying to a question on the charge by opposition Presidential election candidate Fonseka, which he has later subsequently denied, the United National Party (UNP) leader said the Sri Lankan Government should explain in the next Parliament session.
“We have heard that they had a discussion. The government has not yet explained. They should explain in the next Parliament session. They can’t shift the blame,” Wickremesinghe said. (PTI – December 16, 2009).
Now who is shifting what from whom? Why should Wickremesinghe ask for explanation from the government on charges made by his “Common Candidate”, Gen. Sarath Fonseka, about alleged incidents when he could, without any difficulty, ask the Army Commander who is with him now? Besides, his “Common Candidate” has accepted total responsibility for whatever happened when he was Army Commander. So what’s holding up Wickremesinghe from asking his nominee about the allegations he made against his fellow-soldiers? Why is he shifting the blame to the government?
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Posted by media at 7:59 PM
Demands explanation from Government
Wants documentary proof if allegations inaccurate
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Philip Alston in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa has demanded an explanation regarding the allegations made by Fonseka that the Defence Secretary has instructed the Commander of the 58th Brigade of the Sri Lanka Army to shoot those surrendering.
The United Nations is inquiring particularly “the circumstances of the death of three representatives of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Balasingham Nadeshan, Seevaratnam Pulidevan and Ramesh, as well as members of their families, in the night of 17 to 18 May, 2009.”
In his letter, Alston says that the information that he has received are based on the allegations made by Sarath Fonseka in the above mentioned interview. He also says “accounts of journalists embedded with the SLA 58th Brigade confirm some of the alleged circumstances of the deaths of Nadeshan, Pulidevan and Ramesh and their families.” Referring to “fundamental legal rules applicable to all armed conflicts under international humanitarian law and human rights law”, particularly Article 5 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the Special Rapporteur has inquired about the accuracy of the allegations and demanded information and documentary proof in the event that the accusations are inaccurate.
The letter also seeks information on the family members of Nadeshan , Pulidevan and Ramesh.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Secretariat in a release said the Government is making a careful study of the UN Rapporteur’s letter, prior to a formal response, and any action that may be necessary.
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Posted by media at 2:24 AM
Monday, December 21, 2009
On the basis of the December 13 controversial interview (which was later denied) by the Sri Lankan Presidential contender and former Army Chief, Sarath Fonseka the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Phillip Alston has asked Colombo to explain the circumstances of the death of three senior LTTE cadres and their families at the last stages of military operations to defeat the LTTE in May this year.
In a letter addressed to Kshenuka Senewiratna, the Permanent representative of Sri Lanka to the UN Office in Geneva on December 18 Mr. Alston states, “These allegations were made by the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army at the time of the events and subsequent Chief of Defence 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”.
A statement by the Sri Lanka Government on the developments said that it is making a careful study of the U.N. Rapporteur’s letter, prior to a formal response, and any action that may be necessary.
The fact that the U.N. Rapporteur has gone ahead with the letter seeking an explanation on the controversy surrounding the death of senior LTTE leaders and cadres in the last phase of the war shows that Mr. Alston has not taken into account the subsequent clarification given the retired General that the weekly has not properly interpreted his comments.
Mr. Alston in his letter wrote, “I would be grateful for the cooperation and observations of your Excellency's Government. In particular in relation to the following questions: 1. Are the allegations summarized above accurate, If not so, please share the information and documents proving their inaccuracy.
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Posted by media at 9:09 PM
The Sri Lanka government on Monday said as part of its efforts to secure assets of the LTTE outside the island nation, its Navy has seized ‘Princess Christina’ — said to be the large LTTE arms ship — and escorted it to the Colombo Navy ship yard this morning.
A statement by the Defence Ministry said, “The ship is 89m in length and had been utilised for arms smuggling and human trafficking. Under directions of the Defence Secretary Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the assets that belonged to the LTTE are now being acquired by the country.”
It further quoted the Secretary Defence as saying that all the (LTTE) assets being acquired will be utilised for the development of the country considering the fact that they belong to the people of the country.
No details were immediately available as to where actually the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) seized the ship. The Ministry said the ship was seized following information provided by the LTTE chief arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanthan alias KP who is in the custody of the Sri Lankan authorities.
KP is being questioned on the LTTE’s connections, especially influential Western connections on its payroll, its leading donors, the group’s earnings from drugs and guns, and its intricate business empire.
A few weeks ago, Sri Lanka Minister and Defence Spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella disclosed at a news conference here on Tuesday that the government was engaged in the process of collecting information and intelligence on LTTE assets in different parts of the globe with the objective of acquiring them for ‘national development’.
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Posted by media at 9:04 PM
Dec 21, Colombo: Showing lack of interest in the January 26th presidential election Sri Lanka's leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremasinghe has offered the key posts of the common opposition presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka's campaign to the Marxist party JVP and Mangala Samaraweera, a UNP parliamentarian said.
The UNP has agreed to offer the media spokesperson positions of the Fonseka's campaign to the JVP and Mangala Samaraweera at the final working committee meeting of the opposition alliance, United National Front, which fielded General Fonseka as a presidential candidate.
JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake and MP Mangala Samaraweera have been appointed as joint media spokespersons for Fonseka's campaign.
"If UNP is really interested in this campaign they never let others to work as campaign spokespersons and managers," UNP parliamentarian Johnston Fernando told ColomboPage.
"The UNP and its leader knew that they couldn't win this Presidential race. Mr. Wickramasinghe's only intention is to safeguard his UNP and opposition leadership till 2017. In that context Mr. Fonseka is being used for a suicide mission," the UNP MP added.
Meanwhile, UNP Secretary General Tissa Attanayake has reportedly opposed the move of appointing two external party MPs to the key campaign posts and pressed the UNP leadership to appoint UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella or MP Gayantha Karunathilake to the key position.
Absence of UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe or his Deputy Karu Jayasuriya, or UNP Secretary General Tissa Attanayake during Fonseka's nomination process last Thursday (17) at the Election Secretariat shows the party's lack of interest in Fonseka's campaign, political analysts point out.
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Posted by media at 9:03 PM
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Dec 20 (CP) Colombo- The Joint Election Committee of common opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka has decided to appoint alleged LTTE financier Tiran Alles as their campaign manager for the upcoming presidential election.
However, the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, the other member of the opposition alliance has opposed the move to appoint Mr. Alles to the key post pointing out that his alleged financial dealings with the LTTE terrorists in the past would badly affect Fonseka's election campaign.
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Posted by media at 9:34 PM
Colombo, 20 December, (Asiantribune.com):
Two Faces: Corrupt & DeceptiveGen Sarath Fonseka, who has entered the presidential fray on an anti-corruption platform, misused the official satellite phones to make personal overseas calls to the US in particular and used Army Welfare Fund to settle the bills, Asian Tribune investigations show.
Telephone-gate, as the scam is described in army circles, related to the period when the General was posted to Jaffna and Vanni as a Major General and amounted to between Rs. 2 million and Rs. 2.7 million. Mangal Samaraweera as the posts and telecommunication minister of the day ‘gifted’ an Inmarsat Satellite phone to the General to remain in touch with Colombo from Jaffna
Asian Tribune understands that General Fonseka did not surrender the Satphone when he was transferred out of Jaffna on the orders of the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to Vanni and that he had taken the phone to his new place of posting. This deprived his successor Maj Gen A. Wijendra of the Satphone facility, as overall forces commander in Jaffna.
This is not the first time that the Telephone-gate has come up front.
The Sunday Leader, a weekly not known to be friendly to the Rajapaksas, reported the issue on its 30 July 2001 issue under the heading ‘SLA officer accused of misusing satellite phone’. It said the highest number of calls he made through this phone was to the United States of America, the duration of one call being a whopping 110 minutes and 48 seconds that cost Rs.33, 793.84.
The Sunday Leader also gave the following breakdown of the bills for the period from July to December 2000 saying it has in its possession the ‘invoices’ addressed to the Commander of the Army, Army Head Quarters.
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Posted by media at 10:52 AM
Saturday, December 19, 2009
By Garvin Karunaratne, Ph.D.Former Government Agent, Matara District.
What were the Superpowers doing when our armed forces were defeating the terrorist LTTE at Nandi kadal and Mullativu?
Japan had even sent a team of “tsunami experts” who unknown to the Government did build “a channel to launch underwater craft-a 360 ft. long, 25 ft. wide tunnel and a 300 ft. long and 30 ft. deep dock” .( The Island 4/9/2009. It was done to help the terrorists to get armaments and when required to escape, which they could not do because of the very effective naval blockade. That was Yakushi Akashi, who posed as our saviour- who did 23 trips in those few years in the guise of helping us.
Then in one unending chorous, the Superpowers- Britain, the US, Norway, France, Canada- all of them pressurized our Government to stop the war- give the terrorists a new lease of life. That was very strange. This included Chief Officers of the United Nations and even Hilary Clinton the US Secretary of State. They hardly knew that we had a man of steel in Mahinda Rajapaksa- a man who could not be moved. He knew the art of handling the various Foreign Ministers and emissaries that emerged almost daily to advice him. They were all greeted, hosted, allowed to talk but were told in no uncertain terms what our plans were. If not for the sagacious manner in which he handled them, we would never have defeated the terrorists. Their plan was to send an international force which we avoided. Last, the USA compiled- fabricated incidents of atrocities to take our leaders before the International Courts for war crimes- the Courts that are now trying Karadavic. If similar incidents that did happen in Vietnam and recently in Iraq and Afghanistan are documented even the Pentagon will not have sufficient space to hold the paper documents. Their threats could not pierce the mettle of our leader who was undeterred. Today- 12 th December the US House of Representatives has called for a report on how the Sri Lankan Government is addressing their war crimes dossier! The USA of all countries should understand that Sri Lanka is a sovereign country, because the USA was itself a colony of Britain. The USA had to fight a bitter war to become a sovereign nation
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Posted by media at 1:58 PM
Lucian Rajakarunanayake Courtesy Daily News
As the Presidential Election campaign progresses, the election will have to make a clear choice between the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who led the nation to victory against terror, and the so-called Common Candidate Sarath Fonseka, the former Army Commander who shed his uniform to run against his immediate Commander-in-Chief.
Twenty-two candidates being in the fray is significant proof that representative democracy remains very much alive in Sri Lanka, after 78 years since universal franchise was introduced under British rule in 1931, making this the oldest democracy in Asia.
The coming weeks will give Sri Lankan voters the chance to decide both on policies to be followed in the next six years, laying the groundwork for full restoration of peace after three decades of war, violence and mistrust, and, hopefully pave the way for national reconciliation in a pluralist society.
This period will also show what the voters think of how the war on LTTE terror was ended, and who they will credit to for this major achievement in the modern history of Sri Lanka.
It will also raise major questions about a political party that has shed both symbol and colour, to hang on to the fading uniform of a retired General.
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Posted by media at 1:56 PM
Sarath Fonseka (SF) is not the only hero in the defeat of LTTE as he claimed. He was only one among the others like Chiefs of Navy, Air force, STF, Police and Hasalaka Gamini and all personnel from the tri forces who fought gallantly and valiantly. It is sad to see the war hero Sarath Fonseka gradually turning out to be the biggest betrayer of the nation .He pointed out at Gotabaya Rajapaksa and said in an interview with Leader paper that Gotabaya has given orders to kill the Tiger leaders who surrendered with a white flag during his absence from the war scene. At another press conference he was trying to white wash his comments on Gotabaya saying that he has been misquoted by the editor Frederica Janz which she totally rejected that claim. He follows western media like BBC and CNN, ABC who broadcast inaccurate and false information on hearsay about Sri Lanka and then try to make excuses. Even if they apologize, the damage is already done and cannot be reversed and this is a tactic used by the western media. Likewise, Sarath Fonseka also made some inaccurate and false statements to Leader paper and then tried to hide behind a statement saying that he has been misquoted. By that time the damage is done and cannot be mended as the International Community (western block) who is all out to bring Sri Lanka into War crimes has got ammunition from the horses mouth to play around.
There are two important matters which concerns the Sri Lankan voters. SF has made such a bold and grave destructive statement against our Defense Secretary Gotabaya on HEARSAY. The second important matter is can the Sri Lankan voters trust a naïve person like SF to run the country who contradicts his own statements later on. Are we going to entrust the trustee of the country to a double tongued SF? Yesterday’s press conference (DM-15/12/2009) he says now that he takes the full responsibility of the war during his period as the Army Commander until the date LTTE was militarily defeated. How can we trust person like SF to be the leader of the country when he does not have a vision (vision borrowed from UNP & JVP) and every turn he makes contradictory statements.
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Posted by media at 1:54 PM
Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune
Washington, D.C. 19 December (Asiantribune.com): The United States Senate and House Conference report of the 2010 Appropriations Bill, now ratified by both chambers, in the section which deals with U.S. financial assistance to Sri Lanka restricts any military assistance to Colombo.
The section of the bill directs the Secretary of State to submit a report supplementing her report on October 21 on crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka detailing whether any measures have been taken by Colombo and international bodies to investigate such incidents, and evaluating the effectiveness of such efforts for the U.S. Congress to restore military assistance.
"...If all conditions are met by Sri Lanka, then the Secretary of State should ensure that any military assistance to Sri Lanka be used to support the recruitment and training of Tamils into the Sri Lankan military, Tamil language training for Sinhalese military personnel, and human rights training for all military personnel," the 2010 Appropriations Bill said.
The conference agreement includes a provision directing the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the United States executive directors of the international financial institutions to vote against financial support for Sri Lanka, except to meet basic human needs, unless certain requirements are met.
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Posted by media at 1:49 PM
Major General Shavendra Silva explained how Army's 58th brigade eliminated the ruthless terrorists and rescued the innocent civilians held hostage in the environs of the beautiful Nandikadal lagoon in the last battle against the LTTE terrorists, in a rare talk delivered at the Mahaveli Centre Auditiorium yesterday.
Addressing the Royal Asiatic Society members the Major General said the Tiger leader died like a pussycat by the side of Nandikadal mangroves.
At the time the last phase of the battle against the terrorists were raging the whole country aligned themselves with the valiant soldiers who were first simply known as Army Karaya became known as Ranaviruwa in the eyes of the public. It was the leadership of this country that gave the Armed Forces the support they needed both in logistics and innovative methods to cope with rains or drought. Everything the Army did depended on the country's leadership, the Maj General noted.
The Tiger leader not only assassinated the Sinhala political leaders but also the Tamil political leaders culminating in the assassination of Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi. Showing slide displays of the large scale sabotage by the terrorists, the 58 Brigade Commander Major General Shavendra Silva said the terrorist group killed people of all ethnic groups and all religions mercilessly.
The mass media played a vital role supporting the forces from behind the scene.
The longest ever trek made by the Sri Lanka Army 58th brigade was a path that was strewn with mines and booby traps over two hundred kilometers till the final victory over terrorism was achieved. It also did the world's biggest humanitarian rescue operation and we made history, he said. All these victories were not achieved easily but with supreme sacrifice made by a large number of our youth who had joined the Armed Forces from the poorest of the poor families. Some gave their sight, some their limbs some became completely disabled for life, Maj Gen Silva recalled.
He said there was no fear in the battle but everyone was aiming at the same objective. When there was rain civilians sent us tarpaulins, when there was heavy rain Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa sent heaters to dry the soldiers uniforms. Everyone cooperated with the Armed Forces and it was country's leadership that made the decisions promptly and at the correct time that enabled us to win the war against terrorism.
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Posted by media at 1:41 PM
Friday, December 18, 2009
The first ever election survey conducted by an Independent Team revealed that President Mahinda Rajapaksa will win the Presidential Election with a handsome majority.
The survey revealed that United Peoples Freedom Alliance candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa will always maintain a lead of 24.8 percent against his nearest rival Sarath Fonseka.
The survey was conducted by an independent team in all nine provinces amongst 5700 voters.
When a sample polling was conducted, 3254 has voted in favor of President Mahinda Rajapaksa , while only 1292 have voted in favor of Fonseka. A total of 654 persons have indicated that they were “undecided”, the survey revealed.
The results of the survey shows that 12.8 percent were still undecided, but it will however not in any way affect the final result of the election, says those who conducted the survey
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Posted by media at 9:18 PM
Thursday, December 17, 2009
A confident President….
UPFA Presidential candidate President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over his nominations a short while ago for the Presidential Elections to be held next year. His nomination papers were handed over to the Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayaka at the Elections Secretariat in Rajagiriya.
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Posted by media at 12:12 PM
It is unfortunate and sad to hear from someone who was decorated as a war hero by the president of my country not long time ago to give a statement to the press accusing one of our greatest war heros Gotabaya and Shavindra Silva for giving orders to kill the most ruthless killers from LTTE while they were coming forward to surrrender with a white flag. This is absured. Pure crazy from a menatally disorder man. A sick man only will utter those kind of crazy words.It’s a betrayal to the whole country and to the Sinhala race. It’s shame and unforgiven betrayal from someone who was respected and loved during the war. This monster in making should be stopped before making more statements like that to the press and destroy our newly gotten freedom,our country,it’s leaders and it’s peoples We cannot just leave him without a punishment for betraying the country. He should be jailed for treason. This is not democracy he is talking about it’s purely revengeful act by a power hungry revengeful person. We should all get together and protect our land and our leaders from local and foreign conspirators. Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Bughers, and Malays should live side by side in harmony as our leader has freed our nation from LTTE terrorists
TIGERS KILLED IN COLD BLOOD was the heading in Arab news yesterday just imagine what was the news in the western press regarding the betrayal and the false statements from a war hero cum traitor.I feel really sad inside my heart and feel ashmed why this happening at this time to our motherland when we are still celebrating our victory and the country is running smoothly with progress every corner of the country. It’s not fare to the country,to the leaders and to the people of Sri Lanka. Actually we are coming to a new era after the bloody war for thirty years and we need blessings from all walks of life to overcome the suffering we had for thirty years. I will not forgive this guy at all for doing such a cowardly act against his country and his collegues in the Armed forces. Being a Sinhalese and a war hero to do such a low thing will not be approved by any person irrespective of colour,faith or religion if someone loves his motherland. Its correct to call a conspiracy theory because these would have been planned by this crooked guy sometime back while on duty to gain power.
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Posted by media at 12:09 PM
Gen. (retd) Sarath Fonseka thought he was hurling a deadly missile when he accused Maj-Gen. Shavendra Silva of carrying out the orders of the Defence Secretary, in his absence, to eliminate the top LTTE leaders in Nanthi Kadal as they were coming out with white flags. But his missile hung in the air for a while and instead of hitting his opponents it swung violently and boomeranged on him, knocking him down and exposing him as a man not fit to wear the Sri Lankan Army uniform, it is sad to say.
It is not only the first biggest gaffe in his election campaign it is a crime committed against his own Army which he can never live down. He has kicked the Army which lifted him to the highest rank of a general. Yesterdays’ hero is acting like today’s Nero gone mad. The international repercussions reverberating round the world are a testimony to the irreparable damage he has done to the most professional Army of elite cadres that had won global respect for defeating the “invincible” Tamil Tiger terrorists.
Right now Gen. Fonseka is as confused as Velupillai Prabhakaran when he was on the run, retreating as fast he could, into Nanthi Kadal. On Sunday he accused one of his brilliant field commanders, Maj-Gen. Shavendra Silva, without whom he could never have won the war, and on Monday he summons a press conference to retract and claim full responsibility for all what happened in the battlefield. This is a useless exercise which does not serve either him or the Army which he commanded because, whether he admits it or not, under the laws of “command responsibility” he has to bear the responsibility for all the acts of his men, irrespective of whether he was aware of it or not. So he has shot himself in the foot by opening his mouth.
Also consider his other contradiction. On Sunday he uses the anti-Sri Lankan media in the private sector to fire his volley targeting the government, particularly his friend, Gotabaya Rajapakse, who made him the Army Commander over his other rivals, and on Monday he files charges in the Supreme Court against the state media targeting him.
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Posted by media at 12:08 PM
By Shihar Aneez
COLOMBO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's private sector borrowing is showing signs of recovery that could help to achieve a 3.5 percent economic growth target now that interest rates have come down, a central bank official said on Friday. The island nation's private sector credit growth has recorded negative growth of 5.2 percent in September year-on-year, the latest data from the central bank shows, despite a continuous reduction in policy rates.
"What we see in November and December is banks' lending is picking up," K.D. Ranasinghe, director at the central bank's economic research department, told Reuters in an interview.
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Posted by media at 9:06 AM
Veteran artistes who met at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute on Tuesday challenged the Opposition to prove that artistes had been bought over by the government for sums ranging from Rs. 150,000 to Rs. 500,000.
Veteran Director and Producer Somaratne Dissanayake assured that none of the artistes had taken money from the government.
He said as public figures they thought it their responsibility to help elect a suitable president. They had carried out such a campaign earlier for the election of President Rajapaksa, he said.
Dissanayake said that President Rajapaksa had kept his pledge to eradicate terrorism and taken several initiatives to safeguard the culture and society at large.
Veteran musician Rohan Weerasinghe said that more than 95 per cent of the artistes were with President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
He said that artistes would jointly organise a series of campaigns to ensure the victory of President Rajapaksa.
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Posted by media at 9:03 AM
W. E. Jayawardena
A main issue that all those contributing to the making of a healthy public opinion, especially the national newspaper groups, have to reckon with, is the need to spare truth falling victim to the acrimony caused by the volume of the heat generated by continued contest of issues like in the case of the present debate on the presidential election.
In its issue of December 7, a national Sinhala newspaper reporting an account on the UNP convention held at Wattala on December 4, gave publicity to the speech of the leader of the UNP. In this report of the speech of the leader, reference was made to the Apollo Hospital being the "Rajje" of the Rajapaksa brothers and also boldly claiming that the Rajapaksa brothers were "rogues" who should be chased out of office. The report, per se, would have stood on its own, if not for a subsequent TV programme on this subject.
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Posted by media at 8:52 AM
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Can such a man be the Commander –in- chief of his own forces and win the respect and loyalty of his troops when he exposes them to war crimes. Is it to settle a score of a personal nature- so far a main plank in his campaign? Can a presidential candidate jeopardize national interest arising from personal disputes? Should the People vote for such a person to high office?
Fonseka indeed is the best spokesman for his opponent, so far. For a competitive contest at the Presidential Election, which this country deserves, Fonseka should either SHUT UP or GET OUT, in the interest of those loyal blind supporters of the political parties that support his candidature.
Is the retired Commander becoming an informant against his own army and its officers? Imagine a nation where the main witness for an international prosecutor against its Armed Forces would be its possible Head of State? Whom is the Nation to turn to defend itself.
Will he as the President be an informant against his own army of committing war crimes? With his disclosure, he can be summoned to an international war tribunal to testify against his own forces. Indeed he is a material witness against his Men. A star witness for those who accuse Sri Lanka of war crimes on the one hand and a candidate for Executive Presidency on behalf of responsible political parties on the other. A Commander-in-Chief in the making-such is Fonseka.
This is more than political immaturity; it is closer to juvenile delinquency. When babes in politics decide to run for high office beyond their intellectual maturity they expose their limitations and endanger national security.
It is an interview the General will rue for life, as he stands exposed waiting to be questioned by local and foreign authorities, as he is in possession of material sufficient to warrant investigating under the Geneva Convention for War Crimes.
It is not a matter on which Sri Lanka can lightly rest with accusations being already leveled against the nation for war crimes. Is the retired Commander becoming an informant against his own army and its officers? Imagine a nation where the main witness for an international prosecutor against its Armed Forces would be its possible Head of State? Whom is the Nation to turn to defend itself.
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Posted by media at 9:00 PM
In his first public comments on last week’s The Sunday Leader lead news item "Gota ordered them (read as surrendering LTTE cadres) to be shot," on the basis of an interview given by former Army Chief turned Opposition presidential election candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told The Island that a section of the international community, hell bent on undermining the Sri Lankan State, would take advantage of this situation.
Although General Fonseka had later claimed that the broad sheet misquoted him irreparable damage was done, he said. International wire services had zeroed-in on this allegation. Nothing could have pleased them as much as an opportunity to blame the Sri Lankan forces of battlefield excesses, he said.
The Sunday Leader, in what it called ‘an explosive revelation’, alleged that Rajapaksa had ordered Maj. General Shavindra Silva, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 58 Division not to take prisoners though a section of the LTTE leadership offered to surrender.
The former Gajaba Regiment veteran said that almost all major media groups, including the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and the influential Indian press sought his comments though he did not respond. According to him, the Indian press had emphasised that he could not turn a blind eye to criticism of his conduct as it was a major issue in India. The bottom line is that even if the Opposition candidate had disputed the news item, those who sided with the LTTE during Sri Lanka’s war on terror would now go on the offensive. He pointed out that the unsubstantiated allegation would help the Tamil Diaspora and peace merchants to revive their campaign against Sri Lanka.
He said that it would be interesting to see whether The Sunday Leader retracted its last week’s story. An irate Defence Secretary said that he could not understand how the Opposition could exploit an alleged war crimes charge to go one up at the ongoing presidential election campaign. Obviously this was nothing but an attempt to appease the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the Tamil Diaspora and some countries which desperately tried to save the sinking Tigers, he said. According to him, this particular allegation had been directed at frontline troops, including the Special Forces commanded by Major General Silva, though all fighting formations would now be suspect of war crimes. "Can anything be as despicable as this," he said emphasising that whatever the Opposition said people would not be deceived or surprised.
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Posted by media at 5:33 AM
Monday, December 14, 2009
You were one of our heroes, a ‘Knight in Shining Armour’, who rose up to the challenge of taking on the dragon. When you won, we won, the whole country won, sans a few. The dragon was elusive, but its evil-hearted offshoot was freely wandering and quite vocal out in the open, denigrating and insulting you and every move you made to defeat their master. When they did, they also denigrated and insulted our people and all patriotic forces, who stood by you and what you stood for, in the name of our country. Despite all their attempts, the country was saved due to your leadership and your men’s valour, dedication and sacrifice. In contrast, the nature of the villains of the nation became all too clear and we could see the depths that they could stoop down to, in order to stall the progress of our nation and attain their own ends.
Thus, when the traitors of the nation sneered in jealousy at our heroes, we were angered and compelled to speak against them and speak in support of our heroes in whatever way we could and we did that with so much pride and a feeling of oneness. We did not do that to bet on the winning horse but out of love for our motherland. We, as a people, prayed to see you silence them with your actions; actions that we knew for certain would free our country.
We wanted to see you win. They wanted to see you fail. We had faith in you. They had faith in all unpatriotic forces to stall you in your advance. We supported you in your every move. They criticised it. We held you in the utmost esteem. They disparaged you as a misfit. We celebrated the elimination of the dragon, at last feeling the feel of real freedom as a proud nation. They faded into darkness, hiding their faces for a while. We knew we had beaten the dragon and its offshoots and we knew it would not have been possible without you. They knew they had been fairly and squarely defeated and would have no future. It was clearly a battle between those who wanted to see the country freed and those who wanted it to suffer to make a living out of the country’s ailments. When all the victory celebrations were over, we wanted you to be safe and serve the country for many years to come. They wanted to destroy you at the earliest, one way or the other, for their own greed and survival.
We are quite perplexed to see the same enemies of our nation, who ridiculed you, now singing hosannas to you and we are feeling dejected as they say that you will be leaving us to join them. We would not know what to believe until we hear from you, but we hope it is not true.
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Posted by media at 11:56 PM
There is a high octane performance on the part of government propagandists and their Opposition counterparts engaged in a ruthless mud-slinging contest.
The government used to boast that it had ensured there were no irregularities in military purchases unlike in the past. But, now, we are being told that while Fonseka was the army commander, his son-in-law was involved in some questionable business deals with the army.
In the aftermath of Prabhakaran’s death, Fonseka pooh-poohed allegations of war crimes against the army. When asked, at the inaugural press conference after entering politics, to comment on moves being made in some quarters to press war crime charges against the Sri Lankan military, Fonseka said those who wanted to do so had to make specific charges with times, dates, locations etc mentioned––the implication being that the allegations levelled against Sri Lanka were baseless. He has also claimed on more than one occasion that he personally handled the successful ground operations which decapitated the LTTE.
Now, we have Fonseka saying he has information that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa ordered a ground commander to kill the LTTE leaders who tried to surrender. (The Sunday Leader of Dec. 13, 2009)
As much as the government's allegations against Fonseka and his son-in-law are tantamount to a self-indictment, Fonseka's charge against Gotabhaya has seriously affected his own credibility in that he contradicts his much advertised claim that he alone commanded the victorious army. If Fonseka says that his ground commanders who steered the army to victory took orders from someone else, how could he justify his attempt to promote himself in politics as the man who won the war and seek the executive presidency in return, as it were?
Both the government and Fonseka, blinded by rage, venom and thirst for power, are sadly serving the purpose of sinister anti-Sri Lankan forces which craftily managed to cause a split in the anti-terrorism camp by pitting Fonseka against Rajapaksa. The wise old folk in this country may call this method 'using a pig's back to chop its own meat'. Fonseka said a few weeks ago, while he was still Chief of Defence Staff, that he had resisted during a tour of the US a move by the US Homeland Security Department to elicit information about Gotabhaya as regards what had happened during the final stages of war. Today, he is levelling a serious allegation against Defence Secretary Rajapaksa and Maj. Gen. Shavindra Silva, an efficient ground commander who became famous for his 170-kilometre-long 'March to the Sea' from Mannar to the eastern coast via Pooneryn. Ironically, Shavindra was handpicked by Fonseka himself for that task over and above others.
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Posted by media at 9:23 PM
While dismissing the allegations made by Presidential Candidate General Sarath Fonseka the government yesterday vowed that legal opinion will be sought to take action against what it called the ‘malicious attempt to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka and the armed forces’.
Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe addressing a hurriedly convened press briefing at the Media Center for National Security said yesterday that the statement made to a weekend newspaper by General Sarath Fonseka was very damaging locally and internationally.
“This is a great betrayal against his former boss, colleagues and soldiers of the armed forces who fought the war side by side against a common enemy. We have no doubt that the baseless allegations are for personnel gains,” Minister Smarasinghe stressed.
Quoting a statement made by General Fonseka on July 10 at Ambalangoda, Minister Smarasinghe said the two statements were highly contradictory.
He alleged that on July 10 General Fonseka has said at a felicitation ceremony: “I managed the war like a true soldier. I do not make decisions from AC rooms. I was under pressure to stop the war even during the final phase. I got messages not to shoot those who are carrying white flags. A war is fought by soldiers. They do so by putting their livea on the line. Therefore, their decisions about war should be taken by the soldiers in the battle front. Not nth people in the AC rooms in Colombo. Our soldiers have seen in life the kind of destruction carried out by those people before they decides to come carrying a white flag. Therefore, they carried out their duties. We destroyed any one connected with the LTTE. That is how we won the war”.
Minister Samarasinghe said the modus operandi to make this kind of ‘extremely harmful’ and ‘baseless’ allegations was to give oxygen to the US State Department attempt to inquire the so called Human Rights violations during the humanitarian operation.
“Do not forget that PresidentMahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a 6 member committee to look into the charges. But these people are not satisfied and they want to internationalize the issue,” Minister Smarasinghe added.
“The Sri Lanka armed forces have prosecuted war in a highly professional manner, in line with the international law. . Otherwise they could not have taken LTTE leaders like George Master or Daya Master in to custody. Even the parents of Prabhakaran are in the care of the government. If what General Fonseka claimed is to be true, how could they survive?” Minister Smarasinghe asked.
“Sri Lanka has emerged a free nation with a bright future before it. The government has taken all measure possible to make Sri Lanka the hub of naval, air, trade and financial hub of the region. There are many in the local and international for a with an agenda hell bent on destabilizing it”, Minister Samarasinghe emphasized.
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Posted by media at 9:06 PM