US rescinds invitation to Fonseka to attend Hawaii event

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 October 2009, 03:39 GMT]
The US government has withdrawn the invitation earlier extended to Major General Sarath Fonseka, former Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and currently holding the post of Chief of Defence Staff, to attend a farewill event to US Pacific Command (PACOM) Commander Admiral Timothy J.Keating at PACOM headquarters in Hawaii, Colombo’s English weekly, the Sunday Times reported in its political column quoting diplomatic sources.

Maj. Gen. Sarath Fonseka
Maj. Gen. Sarath Fonseka
Maj. Gen. Fonseka, accompanied by Brigadier Athula Silva and two body guards, boarded a Dubai-bound flight Friday, for a Saturday arrival in Washington D.C., the paper said.

To prevent expiration of the lottery-won green card the General has to visit the U.S. at least once a year.

The paper said, referring to diplomatic sources, that on the 17th, Saturday, US Ambassador Patricia Butenis, had conveyed the message that the US Government had withdrawn the invitation extended to Fonseka for the PACOM event.

The rescission of invitation followed the release of the U.S. State Department report that alleged that the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers committed serious crimes amounting to "crimes against humanity" during the final weeks of the Sri Lanka war.

In Page 46, inside a chapter on killings of combatants seeking to surrender, the Report said, "July 10 – A media outlet reported on July 18 that at a celebratory event in Ambalangoda, Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka stated that the military had to overlook the traditional rules of war and even kill LTTE rebels who came to surrender carrying white flags during the war against the LTTE,"

In the light of the references made in the report to Gen. Fonseka, then Commander of the Army, the sources said, "it would be untenable for the US Government to officially host him at any event," Sunday Times reported.

Earlier, Gen. Fonseka was expected to return to Colombo on November 17. In the light of some official programmes being cancelled, he is now likely to return on November 7, the paper added.


Chronology:
04.11.09  Fonseka flees US


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17.10.09   Sri Lanka releases arrested pro-JVP newspaper editor
16.10.09   Fonseka reporting triggers TID raid on JVP paper


External Links:
ST: Fonseka goes to US amid war crime charges against Sri Lanka

 

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