Fonseka flees US
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 November 2009, 13:19 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army chief, Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka fled the United States cutting short his planned stay in the US to avoid being questioned by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over warcrimes under his command, according to an AFP report. "Mr Fonseka's future chances of retiring to the US are now in jeopardy, and consequent developments in other countries of the world, except the rights violator nations, may make him a fugitive," legal sources in Washington said. Meanwhile, incriminating, anonymous, hearsay evidence has surfaced on the activities of his son-in-law, Danuna Tillakaratne, on making weapons deals from Oklahoma. Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based pressure group, said yesterday that TAG will be preparing a detailed document after further research on this matter for possible use by the US law enforcement authorities.
Full text of AFP report:
Sri Lanka's military commander left the United States ahead of possible questioning over alleged war crimes committed during the defeat of the island's Tamil rebels, a legislator said Wednesday.
General Sarath Fonseka headed back to Sri Lanka without facing questioning by the Department of Homeland Security later in the day, Samantha Vidyaratne told parliament.
"In the same way this brave soldier rid the country of terrorism, he is now on his way home without betraying the nation," Vidyaratne said.
Fonseka holds US permanent residency and travelled to the US last week to visit his daughters in Oklahoma.
Sri Lanka said on Monday that it feared US authorities were trying to force Fonseka to provide evidence against Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse over the allegations of human rights violations.
The defence secretary, who holds US citizenship, is the younger brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse.
Sri Lankan troops in May killed the leaders of the Tamil Tigers, ending one of Asia's longest-running and bloodiest insurgencies that aimed to create a separate homeland for the island's Tamil minority.
A US State Department report presented to Congress last month charged that both the government and Tamil Tigers committed serious human rights violations in the final months of the conflict.
The UN reported that more than 7,000 civilians may have perished in the fighting during this year. The Sri Lankan government contends that no civilians were killed by its troops.