Posted on June 30th, 2022


Fonseka went in for self promotion once the war ended. DBS Jeyaraj observed that on July 9 2009, Fonseka spoke at a book launch about the war, in which he heaped compliments upon himself lavishly. Token lip service was paid to the President’s role. Gotabaya was virtually ignored. According to Sarath he and he alone had won the war with the President’s support. It was a one-man show. This implied that Sarath and not Mahinda was the savior of the nation.

Another incident was the felicitation ceremony at Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda on July 10. 2009. All traffic was stopped along the Galle Road for hours. There were massive security arrangements made arbitrarily by Fonseka’s security personnel causing much hardship to people. Sarath waxed eloquent about his role in winning the war alone to an appreciative home audience. There were increasing signs that Sarath and his merry-men in the Army were becoming a law unto themselves. It was as if a parallel authority was being exercised by Fonseka in certain spheres said DBS.

Sarath Fonseka also kept drawing attention to lapses in the war. On one occasion, he said, Many crimes had taken place at some places and they should be inquired into and those responsible, should be punished so that the dignity of the Sri Lanka Army could be protected. If all those who were involved in criminal activities were to be punished, the Sri Lanka Army would regain its lost dignity.

We see in hindsight that Fonseka had been planning his entry into politics for years. Here was a military officer seeking publicity or a monopoly of the credit for the war, the way a politician would, noted Chandraprema.

Fonseka will be remembered as the Army Commander who stated that his superiors had wanted soldiers who surrendered to be killed during Eelam War IV. This statement was flatly contradicted by Kamal Gunaratne in his book Road to Nanthikadal, (p 712) where he stated, Not a single LTTE laid down arms and came forward to surrender.”

Analysts notes that such allegations are usually made by persons outside the army, in this case it was made by a person within the army high command.  This is the first time in living memory, that any country in the world has had a former army commander like this, they said. Sarath Fonseka should be arrested for his sudu kodi story, the first step in war crime charges.

USA had noted in Nov 2009 that A media outlet reported on July 18 that at a celebrity event in Ambalangoda, Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka stated that in Eelam War IV, the military had been asked to ignore the rules of war and kill LTTE rebels who came to surrender carrying white flags”.

Then, Sunday Leader of 13.12.2009 stated that  Fonseka had said that that Defence secretary  Gotabaya  had instructed Brigadier Shavendra de Silva, commanding officer of the 58th divisor fighting in  Mullaitivu ,not to   take in any LTTE leaders who wanted to surrender. They must all be killed. The Sunday Leader gave this item the headline, ‘Gota ordered them to be shot.

Fonseka had said. “When Nadeshan, Pulidevan and Ramesh walked towards the Sri Lanka Army positions carrying white cloths in the first hours of 18 May 2009, soldiers opened fire on them and killed them. An unspecified number of family members of the three men were killed as well.

This allegation was partially withdrawn on 14.12.2009. Sarath Fonseka then said that a journalist had told him that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had instructed the army to shoot those who were surrendering with white flags at the end of the LTTE war.

This white flag waving LTTE surrender statement is reportedly a transcript of a recording that was made in US which found its way into the island in the pouch of a roving envoy, which, again reportedly, was played to a journalist who had the privilege of listening but was not permitted to make a copy of the recording, said an analyst.

Critics noted that though Fonseka has said that he was been misquoted he had not rejected the news item and had not taken any action against the newspaper. The newspaper carried a clarification without an editor’s note to avert the public attention on this matter.

Chandraprema said he thought that Fonseka‘s statement to Sunday Leader was to get out of a sticky situation by putting the blame on Defense Secretary. He keeps returning to this issue, Chandraprema commented.

Lawyers expressed their dismay over the errant and treacherous statement” made by Fonseka, Fonseka’s statement that Gotabaya Rajapaksa said to kill the LTTE who were surrendering at end of war, could lead to a war crimes charge, analyst said. Security forces could be brought before an International War crimes tribunal based on this statement made by Fonseka.

Once a former army commander makes accusations such as the one made by Fonseka against a serving Defense secretary and serving senior army officers no country can ignore it, they added.

in December 2009 Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary execution wrote  about the matter to the  Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations office at Geneva.  The United Nations has asked the Sri Lankan government to explain its position on the allegations leveled by the former army chief General Sarath Fonseka that three senior Tamil Tiger leaders were executed by soldiers as they came forward to surrender, Hindustan Times reported.

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