Fonseka names assassins of Nadesan, Puleedevan
[TamilNet, Sunday, 13 December 2009, 09:01 GMT]
Former Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander and presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka named Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Shavendra Silva, commander of army’s 58th division as directly responsible to the assassination of LTTE’s political leaders B. Nadesan, S. Puleedevan and police chief Ramesh, while naming presidential advisor Basil Rajapaksa, Norwegian minister Erik Solheim and various foreign parties as people involved in the episode, The Sunday Leader reported. While Basil Rajapaksa denied communication with Norway, Sri Lanka defence circles refused to comment. Meanwhile, Tamil circles commenting on Fonseka's 'revelations', said both the SLA Commander Fonseka and Commander-in-Chief Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot explain away their involvement in war crimes and the crimes against humanity.
"The International Community has a responsibility to at least conduct an investigation on the last-minute facilitation to which it should have necessary evidences," the Tamil circles further said.
Meanwhile, information has leaked in Norway that a list of names up to 40 political and administrative officials of the Tamil Tigers and a procedure for protection were exchanged during the last moments of May 17 and 18, and that an Austrian national was also involved in the facilitation process.
According to what TamilNet learns, Palitha Kohona had confirmed the procedure used in the arrival of Mr. Ramesh, the Tamil Eelam police chief, and specified a similar procedure of carrying a white flag for the remaining Tiger officials who had sought protection through the last-minute facilitation with the involvement of certain international personalities. Nadesan and Puleedevan had given the list of names which were in turn conveyed to Palitha Kohona through these external personalities and that Nadesan and Puleedevan were the last to leave.
Fonseka in his interview to The Sunday Leader told the paper that he had no information communicated to him on this matter and instead communications were confined to the LTTE leaders, Norway, various foreign parties and Basil Rajapaksa.
“Later, I learnt that Basil had conveyed this information to the Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa – who in turn spoke with Brigadier Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army’s 58th Division, giving orders not to accommodate any LTTE leaders attempting surrender and that “they must all be killed,” Fonseka said.
According to him, Basil and Gotabhaya together, through foreign intermediaries, conveyed the message to the victims, “Get a piece of white cloth, put up your hands and walk towards the other side in a non-threatening manner.”
When followed the message, the three men and their family members were killed by the Sri Lankan troops, between midnight of 17th and early hours of 18th May.
The chief intermediary was Norway’s Erik Solheim, The Sunday Leader said while including the ICRC too in the process.
Sri Lanka’s former Foreign Secretary and present ambassador to the UN, Palitha Kohona appears to be Colombo’s point man in the mediations, the newspaper said.
Fonseka said that he later came to know what exactly had happened through journalists who had been with Shavendra Silva’s Brigade Command at that time.
These journalists were privy to the telephone message from Gotabhaya to the Brigade Commander, ordering the latter not to accommodate surrenders but to simply go ahead and kill them, Fonseka said.