Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gotabhaya ordered to fire although they came with white flags- Fonseka says again at Rathnapura

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.

>> Full Story

Friday, December 25, 2009

LTTE bought five ships during Eelam War IV

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.

>> Full Story

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Official Website of Mahinda Rajapaksa Presidential Election Campaign 2010 Launched

The official website of Mahinda Rajapaksa Presidential election campaign 2010 [] 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 [].


Sarath Fonseka is sliding fast to the dustbin of Sri Lankan history

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.

>> Full Story

How Lanka averted US move to evacuate LTTE leadership

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.

>> Full Story

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fonseka and Ranil deserve each other

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?

>> Full Story

Nadesan, Pulidevan and Ramesh were terrorists

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.

>> Full Story

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fonseka's venom fuels UN probe - Island Editorial

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.

>> Full Story

US & Indian reports expose anti-national Ranil

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?

>> Full Story

Fonseka’s allegations lead to UN probe - Great betrayal

  • Demands explanation from Government

  • Wants documentary proof if allegations inaccurate
The interview given by Sarath Fonseka to the Sunday Leader on December 13, 2009 wherein he alleges that three LTTE leaders who came to surrender with white flags during the final stages of the battle were shot dead by ground troops, has opened an UN probe into possible war crimes charges against the Heroic Forces.

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.

>> Full Story

Monday, December 21, 2009

U.N. seeks explanation on senior LTTE cadres death - Sarath F. are you happy? Traitor

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.

>> Full Story

Sri Lankan Navy seizes rebel arms smuggling ship

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’.

>> Full Story

UNP steps back from Fonseka’s campaign, offers key posts to Mangala and JVP

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.

>> Full Story

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Alleged LTTE financier to handle General Fonseka's election campaign

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.

>> Full Story

Telephone-gate showcases Foneska ‘corruption’ - JARAWA Kanno Jarawa Bonno

Colombo, 20 December, (

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.

>> Full Story