Maj. Gen denies Moon’s genocide claims
Posted on September 6th, 2016

by Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

Former General Officer Commanding elite 53 Division Maj. General (retd) Kamal Gunaratne, whose troops killed LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and some of the latter’s top lieutenants during the final confrontation on the morning of May 19, 2009 has strongly disputed UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s comparison of Vanni offensive with cases of genocide in Ruwanda and Serbia in the 1990s.

Gunaratne said that he deeply regretted the UNSG’s unsubstantiated statement.

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Appearing on Sirasa Pathikada, the Gajaba Regiment veteran emphasized that had Sri Lanka adopted such a policy none of those who surrendered to the Army as well as those arrested by the Intelligence Services on the Vanni east front would have been alive today. The veteran estimated the number of those who had surrendered and arrested at over 12,000 personnel. The war veteran was responding to programme host Bandula Jayasekera.

Responding to another query, Gunaratne said that as an officer who had served the Army for 35 years he was ready to face proposed judicial inquiry into accountability issues.

Sri Lanka strangely co-sponsored UN Resolution 30/1 targeting the country on on Oct 1, 2015 to pave the way for a judicial inquiry.

At the time of his retirement on Monday (Sept. 5) Gunaratne, had been Colonel of the Mechanized Infantry Regiment (MIR) and Master General Ordnance (MGO) of the Army Headquarters.

Gunaratne said that the military had paid a very heavy price to eradicate terrorism. He said that his work ‘Road to Nanthikadal’ and its Sinhala version would counter propaganda directed at the country.

Gunaratne has commenced the project in May 2012, exactly three years after the war was brought to a successful conclusion with the elimination of the top LTTE leadership.

Gunaratne said that the Army lacked the wherewithal to sustain a large scale offensive for want of adequate manpower. The one-time 53 Division Commander said that the Army could sustain a two year and ten month offensive as the previous administration increased the total strength from 120,000 in 2006 to 230,000 by 2009.

Gunaratne said that those who belittle Sri Lanka’s triumph over terrorism never considered the enormous sacrifices made by the Armed Forces. “We lost 5,900 officers and men in less than three years,” Gunaratne said adding that some villages had received upto five bodies of their sons fallen in the frontlines on some days as the Army fought on multiple fronts in the Vanni theater.

Gunaratne said that he was saddened by the war winning combination of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Army Chief Lt. General Sarath Fonseka coming to an end at the end of the war.

Gunaratne said that his 53 Division bagged Prabhakaran, Sea Tiger leader Soosai as well as Bhanu.

Asked whether LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman had perished in fighting, Gunaratne emphasized that had a person like him survived and managed to take refuge overseas, he would have certainly staged a comeback. Gunaratne said that he was certain Pottu Amman was killed on May 19, 2009, the day before Prabhakaran died on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon.

Gunaratne estimated that perhaps five percent of the Tamil Diaspora remained committed to the ideals of the LTTE.

Gunaratne credited the 4 VIR (Vijayaba Light Infantry) of killing Prabhakaran in a 45 minute fight which commenced at about 9.30 am, on May 19, 2009. The former 53 Division chief named the officers and men in charge of the final confrontation.

Asked whether Lt. Gen. Fonseka had directed him to remove Prabhakaran’s uniform, Gunaratne said that he declined to carry out the order though the Army Chief was right that terrorists couldn’t wear uniform. Gunaratne explained that he couldn’t have removed Prabhakaran’s clothes amidst the presence of over 5,000 troops and the media.

The LTTE had been defeated in such way that it couldn’t even stage a single attack since May, 2009, Gunaratne declared, while adding that the eradication of terrorism saved the nation.

Gunaratne said that he couldn’t say anything about the fate of Prabhakaran’s second son Balachandran. Although his Division too had been accused of killing him, he wasn’t aware of Balachandran’s whereabouts though the terrorist leader’s eldest son Charles Anthony was killed by the Gemunu Watch troops during an encounter on May 18, 2009.

Asked whether the Gajaba Regiment had received special treatment during the previous administration, Gunaratne said that the Sinha Regiment veteran picked Maj. Gen. Jagath Dias, Maj. Gen. Chagi Gallege and Maj. Gen Shavendra Silva to command fighting formations on the Vanni front. There had been many other Gajaba officers in the next level of command positions, Gunaratne said, recollecting that Gajaba great Wijaya Wimalaratne was posthumously promoted to the rank of Maj. Gen in Aug 1992.

One Response to “Maj. Gen denies Moon’s genocide claims”

  1. helaya Says:

    Dear Sir, Whole country indebted to and and our war hero. Present government is disgrace to our country. Homo foreign mintier and boot licking PM and witch CKB is trying to settle score with MR. I hope this government will come to an end soon. All Sri Lankan must rally together with our war heroes. We need firm leader with patriotic attitude not a usual politician.

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