Release those wrongfully arrested and detained – Mahinda
Posted on May 19th, 2016

Courtesy Adaderana

May 18, 2016  03:10 pm      

 I call upon the government to stop persecuting our armed forces personnel and to release those who have been wrongfully arrested and detained, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

The observation was made while releasing a statement in view of the 7th anniversary of the war victory.

Full statement – On 19 May 2016, we mark the 7th anniversary of the victory of our armed forces over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam which had officially been designated by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation as the world’s deadliest and most effective terrorist organisation outranking even Al Qaeda. This was a victory that captured the imagination of the whole world. I consider it a privilege to have been able to give political leadership to the armed forces to enable them to achieve this feat which has become an inspiration to all countries beset by terrorism.

It is a matter of regret that we are now marking the 7th anniversary of the proudest and most noteworthy achievement of our armed forces in a debilitated state reminiscent of the dark, defeatist years before 2006. Today, the armed forces have been made to feel that it was wrong to have won the war. Dangerous LTTE terrorists held in detention are being released while armed forces personnel are being arrested and held in detention continuously without bail. My government did not try to exact revenge from LTTE cadres captured at the end of the war. We rehabilitated and released more than 11,000 LTTE combatants. It was only around 200 to 300 of the most dangerous terrorist operatives who were kept in detention with a view to taking legal action against them for various crimes.

It is these dangerous terrorists who are being released while our war heroes are being arrested and jailed. All this is taking place in a context where an agreement has been arrived at between the present government and the international powers that tried their best to stop the war and to rescue Velupillai Prabhakaran and the LTTE leadership. According to this agreement which has been reached by co-sponsoring a joint resolution in the UN Human Rights Council, a war crimes tribunal will be established to try our war heroes with the participation of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators. Armed forces personnel who are suspected of having committed war crimes but against whom there isn’t enough evidence to present in a war crimes court would be removed through administrative action. Furthermore, the government has agreed to allow Western powers to directly finance and maintain this war crimes mechanism.

While our armed forces are being persecuted in this manner, the local and international separatist forces that brought the present government into power are busy with their project of dividing the country. Demands are being made for the complete withdrawal of our armed forces from the North and East. Northern politicians are forcing their way into army camps to humiliate and demoralise the armed forces just as the LTTE did during the infamous ceasefire after 2002. Resolutions are being passed in the Northern Provincial Council demanding a federal state in the North and East. Our motherland is thus facing one of her darkest moments. At this decisive moment, I call upon the entire nation to remember on the 19th of May the brave armed forces personnel who sacrificed their lives so that we may have peace, and to express solidarity with those who have suffered debilitating injuries in the service of the motherland.

The present government claims to be promoting reconciliation by commemorating the war victory with a cultural show instead of a military parade. However it is this same military victory that delivered the Tamil and Muslim people of the North and East from the clutches of terrorism. Tamil children are no longer being abducted to serve as cannon fodder for the LTTE and Muslim people are no longer living under the tyranny of the LTTE. Even though separatist elements seek to portray the war as a war against the Tamil people, it was a war to end terrorism and was never directed at any ethnic group. After the war ended my government took steps to restore democracy in the North and East and to accelerate the development of those areas.

On the 7th anniversary of the war victory that amazed the whole world, I call upon the government to stop persecuting our armed forces personnel and to release those who have been wrongfully arrested and detained. Even the Magistrates before whom cases against these armed forces personnel are being heard have expressed surprise at the flimsy pretexts under which members of the armed services are being arrested and kept in remand custody. Never in living memory have men who have done so much for our nation been treated so unfairly.

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4 Responses to “Release those wrongfully arrested and detained – Mahinda”

  1. Kumari Says:

    When the people in the south celebrate the Victory Day it is wrong, it hurts the reconciliation efforts. However, the Chief Minister Vigneswaran can commemorate a newly found Jana Sanhara day.

    JRJ came into power with a Dharmishta slogan, but left the country with a bloody terrorist war. Sirisena and Ranil came with the Yahapalanaya slogan. I am frightened to think of what they will leave us with.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:


    Nearly 250,000 people have been affected by the floods and landslides in Sri Lanka, and over 225 have died.

    Our people need our help NOW.

    I would encourage you to help. Type “Sri Lanka Flood Relief Aid” in Google to get a list of agencies gathering funds and material aid like meals, foodstuff, clothing etc.

    I did it the EASY way: I sent funds to Sarvodaya ( through their Paypal account at . There is a easy to use Donate button.

  3. nilwala Says:

    As the former President points out, the victory over Terrorism cannot be thrust under the carpet as it it never happenend. Even as Reconciliation moves forward, Commemoration too must take place

    The Nation CANNOT and MUST NOT ever forget the bravery and commitment of the Tr- Defense Forces who by defeating Terrorism brought PEACE so that all citizens of the nation – Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim & others may enjoy lives free of terror…and that it was the Political Leadership of the country under MR/GR that enabled the WAR to end after >30 years of suffering experienced by all sides in the conflict.

    COMMEMORATION OF THE ENDING OF WAR on May 18, 2009 is a day for Posterity to honour all those of the nation’s Armed Forces who made the supreme sacrifice of their lives, and the Veterans who survived for PEACE, as well as the continued keeping of the Peace through protection of National Security by the Defense Forces.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    After the conflict with the LTTE finished in 2009, and now the Yahap in power, they must make life easier for the People of Lanka in every way.

    YES, WE AGREE WITH MR – STOP PERSECUTING THE ARMY PERSONNEL WHO ARE WRONGFULLY ARRESTED ! At least correct the Games that have been going on in the name of a false ‘Reconciliation’ in Lanka, post war.

    If a true Reconciliation is the goal, address the Root Causes of the Tamil Problem, i.e. Caste Wars from Tamil Nadu, and Separatism also from Tamil Nadu.

    What has to be addressed is HUMAN RIGHTS issues.

    HUMAN RIGHTS issues apply to ALL in Lanka, not only for Tamil folk. Most of the people who have died because of HR issues for the last 500 plus years, are the Sinhala/Buddhists.

    Address the Flood problems too !!

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