The Greatest Betrayal - 2:
Differentiating the PATRIOT and TRAITOR
Greatest affront to valiant Security Forces:
Controversial newspaper interview
Sri Lanka has just passed the seventh month after recovering from a
30- year-long fatal epidemic that resulted from LTTE terrorism. The
wounds are yet to heal. A sudden shock can shatter this frail situation.
Thus it is not the time for experiments and recriminations regarding the
war and the post-war period. Sri Lanka has suffered enough already.
There should be no room for giving oxygen to the vestiges of separatism
here and abroad.
The people are eagerly waiting to reaffirm their faith in the
leadership and choose a direction that will influence and shape Lanka’s
future. The forthcoming Presidential election would be one of the most
significant and memorable in the electoral history of this island
This year was indeed remarkable for all Sri Lankans, regardless of
ethnicity and religion. It was in 2009 that our valiant soldiers
fighting under the solid leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and
with the able guidance of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
eliminated ruthless terrorism forever from this island.
For the first time in the post independence era, people of Sri Lanka
felt genuine optimism and excitement about the prospect of living as one
nation defeating death, oppression, suffering, hate and division. The
heroes of the Sri Lankan Security Forces were never kept behind the
President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Commander-in-Chief never showed
reluctance to bring them to the limelight and avoided any injustice as
he very well knew these men fought risking their lives.
Hence, he never deceived them. Yet, sadly but truly, one of their own
had brought misery to the very men and women who so valiantly defended
Three weeks have passed since the day, the New Democratic Front
Presidential Candidate Sarath Fonseka’s comment to the ‘Sunday Leader’
It is not necessary to repeat it here, for those words are
excruciatingly painful to any patriot, leave alone the heroic members of
the Security Forces. But in essence, what he implied was that our
Security Forces had committed war crimes in the last days of the
Our war heroes were embraced and loved by Sri Lankans from all parts
of the country. They deserved these accolades for showing their true
colours of bravery and commitment to free the Motherland of the menace
There were many officers and men who braved enemy fire to complete
the battle. Major General Jagath Dias, Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne, Maj.
Nandana Udawatta, Maj. Gen. Chagie Gallage, Maj.Gen. Prasanna de
Silva, Maj.Gen. Shavendra Silva and Brigadier G.V. Ravipriya were among
them. These war heroes had humane qualities and they ensured that all
humanitarian norms were followed in the battles with the LTTE. After
all, the operation was called a “humanitarian mission” because their
objective was freeing the nearly 300,000 people held hostage by the LTTE,
even more than gaining LTTE-held territory.
Every Sri Lankan knows it is their duty to protect these heroic men
of our era. Today it is extremely distressing to note that such men of
valour are facing tremendous pressure through a wretched attempt of
dragging them to international tribunals for war crimes. All reactionary
national and international forces, seen and unseen, have come together
in this great conspiracy and treachery.
One has to understand what it takes to be both an Officer and a
False allegations are thrown at our true heroes of the nation for war
crimes they never committed. Unfortunately for the Nation, they have
gained some credibility and mileage, having been uttered by the very man
who headed the Army.
“We raised our voice against sinister elements that attempted to
undermine the Security Forces’ achievements in the North and the East,”
President Mahinda Rajapaksa said addressing representatives of over 64
Trade Unions at Temple Trees the day following the statement of the
Opposition’s main candidate. Another immediate reaction was from Army
Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya. In his speech delivered
at the handing over of certificates of honour to every member of the Sri
Lanka Army, Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya categorically denied the
allegation raised at his officers and the Army.
The effort to take the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Maj.
Gen. Shavendra Silva to international war crimes courts and bring
disgrace to their unblemished careers drew flak from all quarters. All
patriots living here and abroad vehemently condemned this move.
Equally, people and leaders expressed their rejection of such
insidious attempts. The statement by the Opposition candidate had only
fulfilled the whims and fancies of divisive forces at home and abroad.
Questioning whether Gen. (rtd) Sarath Fonseka is engaged in a ritual
of self-immolation accusing the Army of killing terrorists in action,
veteran lawyer Gomin Dayasri says that with Fonseka’s disclosure, he can
be summoned to an international war tribunal to testify against his own
“Indeed he is a material witness against his own men,” Dayasri states
based on his vast experience in defending the Sri Lanka Army, Navy and
Air Force as their lawyer in all actions against the Tri Forces on
alleged War Crimes.
Indeed, many legal experts have pointed out that even if Fonseka
becomes the President, he might still have to face a war crimes inquiry,
which would be an utter disgrace to the entire country.
“Fonseka has damaged his candidature through a lone article in a
newspaper favourable to him. The scribe cannot be blamed for the harm
caused to the candidate because the content is newsworthy and an
enlightened damage assessment would not have been made. Fonseka could
lose more votes but gain a few from those human rights angels and LTTE
loyalists in search of a witness to hang Sri Lanka for war crimes,”
Dayasri said. Imagine a nation where the main witness for an
international prosecutor against its Armed Forces would be its possible
head of state? Who can the Nation turn to defend itself and its Forces?
It was President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the Commander in Chief, who
united all progressive forces with great difficulty and paved the way
for a magnificent victory achieved after many failures in the long
battle against the LTTE. President J.R. Jayewardene signed an agreement
that merged the North and the East as one province. UNP leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister signed another agreement with
Prabhakaran and allowed the LTTE to dominate certain areas in the North
and the East. The Tri Forces were confined to their camps.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa took a bold decision to abrogate the
Ceasefire Agreement as the LTTE paid scant regard to it. The LTTE’s
blockage of Mavil Aru proved to be the turning point, with the President
ordering the Forces to liberate the East. This action was taken to its
logical conclusion with the liberation of the entire North and the
decimation of the LTTE leadership in May this year.
While the greatest role was unarguably played by the Army, the Navy,
Air Force, Police and Civil Defence Force also played their individual
roles perfectly. Particularly the Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Air
Force played a vital role to curb the LTTE menace and thus one cannot
say it was led by him alone. Especially if the Navy did not cut off the
sea supply lines that were operating to deliver armaments to the LTTE
and if the entire load of weapons reached our shores we would still be
fighting the bloody terrorist outfit. It was a turning point of Eelam
It was in 2007, with the intensification of offensives by the Sri
Lankan Forces in order to liberate the entire Eastern Province that the
LTTE felt the need to strengthen their weaponry. But the Navy was able
to detect and successfully destroy seven ships in 2007 alone. The
greatest achievement for the Sri Lanka Navy is the capture of ‘Princess
Chrisanta’ that reached Sri Lanka on December 21, 2009. It was reported
to be the largest ship, detected so far, within the LTTE support
The Sri Lanka Air Force had to face false allegations about attacking
a children’s home - remember the Sencholai saga ? Yet officers knew
their targets were accurate. They killed LTTE Political Wing leader S.P.
Thamilselvan in an airstrike and clandestine broadcasting facilities.
None of the Forces was against the ordinary Tamil civilians. They
were keen enough to detect the LTTErs and destroy their camps and
hideouts. They never killed Tamil civilians even if the circumstances
dictated risking their own lives.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the Commander-in-Chief never
undermined efforts of the Security Personnel. He always treated them
with equal value.
As Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda said last week in a popular TV talk
show, none worked expecting a return from the Government or the people.
“It was our duty and we were determined to achieve our targets,” he
This is what determined their value of service. In this backdrop,
accusing the Government of undervaluing his service, Sarath Fonseka does
bring disgrace to all genuine officers and soldiers. For a true soldier
the first priority is motherland, second priority is motherland and the
third would be the same. His family, his life and benefits come second.
No citizen can forget the value and honour of his or her motherland.
To those who are reluctant to accept President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s role
as the Commander-in-Chief, he may not have solved 100% of our country’s
problems, yet he solved the gravest problem the entire nation suffered
for nearly three decades.
With this success, he assures the Nation that he is capable of
finding solutions to other dilemmas we face. Fonseka or any other
candidate cannot even come close to his track record of serving the
Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial,
Summary or Arbitrary Executions, in the letter to the President dated
December 18, 2009 demands explanations regarding the allegations made by
Fonseka that the Defence Secretary has instructed the Commander of the
58th Brigade of the Army to shoot those surrendering. The letter states
“These allegations made by the Commander at the time of events and
subsequent Chief of Defence Staff, (now retired) Gadihewa Sarath
Chandralal Fonseka, in an interview to the newspaper ‘The Sunday
Leader’. The accounts of journalists embedded with the SLA 58th Brigade
confirm some of the alleged circumstances of the death of Nadesan,
Pulidevan and Ramesh and their families.”
The Government is making a careful study of the UN Rapporteur letter
prior to any sort of a formal response and any action that may be
Can a Presidential candidate jeopardize national interests, simply
because of a personal dispute? Fighting against the world’s most
ruthless terrorists. 30,000 soldiers have died and another 20,000 became
displaced in 30 years.
Can one individual pave a path to block international level training
for all three Forces? Can an individual stop the UN from recruiting our
officers, soldiers and sailors into their missions abroad ? A sense of
self-glorification seems to be the only justification for his
The actual response would be from the people, on January 26, 2010.
They will give a fitting verdict to the treacherous elements bent on
defaming the Forces and destabilizing the Nation.
People from all walks of life are rallying round President Mahinda
Rajapaksa for an unprecedented victory. The UNF and the JVP, the main
backers of Fonseka, are not capable of reinforcing democracy or good
governance. Besides both parties have blood stained histories with
damning violations of Human Rights. The country needs to be in the safe
hands of President Rajapaksa again.
|The Cabinet condemn the malicious and
Prime Minister Ratnasiri
Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka,
making a special statement after last week’s Cabinet
meeting, said the Cabinet was appalled at the total
irresponsibility and blatant statement of General (Rtd)
Sarath Fonseka’s which is reckless and entirely without
foundation. “The Cabinet condemned unreservedly the
malicious and contemptible attempt by General (Rtd) Fonseka
to cast wholly unwarranted aspersions on the honour and
integrity of our Security Forces and to assail their richly
deserved reputation,” the statement added. The statement
added that the Cabinet of Ministers at their meeting on
December 23, 2009, took serious note of the recent
allegations made in the media by Fonseka and the
consequences arising therefrom. The Cabinet took note of the
grave threat to the good name of our country as well as to
every member of the security forces as a result of this
prelates deplore... Fonseka’s
Ven. Ambalangoda Sri Sumangala Mahanayake Thera
Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith
Sarath Fonseka was misled by the LTTE
supporters who had wept hearing Velupillai Prabhakaran’s
death, said Chief Sanghanayake of Amarapura Nikaya, Ven.
Ambalangoda Sri Sumangala Mahanayake Thera.
The Mahanayake thera who emphasized the
bravery and the leadership qualities of the President said
that Sarath Fonseka will not able to come closer to
President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming presidential
“The ruthless terrorism led by Prabhakaran
and his coterie of killers was eliminated by President
Mahinda Rajapaksa. No other Sri Lankan leaders were able to
do so, the Mahanayake Thera said.
Ven. Sri Sumangala said that he was also
born in Ambalangoda as Sarath Fonseka. But at present
Fonseka is being misguided badly by local and foreign forces
who had worked for LTTE and Prabhakaran, are now with Sarath
Fonseka to defeat the greatest leader in recent times,
Mahinda Rajapaksa, he concluded.
Several international organizations and
some Western countries are attempting to meddle in Sri
Lankan affairs again, said Colombo Archbishop Malcolm
Addressing a special religious ceremony
held at Temple Trees, Colombo, the Archbishop said the whole
country should thank the security forces and the police for
their heroic attempts in safeguarding the country from
terrorism and ushering in peace. If not for the heroic
leadership given to the country and the security forces by
President Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka may still be in the grip of
terrorism, he said.
Foreign and local elements were able to
subdue Sri Lanka in the past due to the weaknesses and
disunity of the local leaders. The 30 long years of
terrorism in Sri Lanka gave an opportunity to some foreign
elements to get the maximum benefits owing to the war. A
great country lost its valuable human resources as well as
its wealth and became a poor country due to the 30-year long
terrorism, he concluded.
War Crimes Tribunal threat - Former
Former Navy Commander, Admiral Wasantha
Karannagoda said that in case the allegations against Sri
Lanka are upheld by the United Nations, our leaders may have
to face a War Crimes Tribunal. A similar situation arose
some time ago with reference to President Slobodan
Milochovic of Serbia who was hauled before the International
War Crimes Tribunal and convicted, he added. Admiral
Karannagoda said Sri Lanka may also not receive the
opportunity of sending our soldiers for International Peace
Keeping Operations of the UN.
Incalculable damage - Prof. G. L.
Export Development and International Trade
Minister Prof G.L.Peiris said that Sarath Fonseka’s
statement has caused incalculable damage to the country and
the Army. It was a treacherous act no Sri Lankan had done
before, the Minister added. This very serious allegation is
even more harmful than the charges that were brought against
former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet as they were only
circumstantial whereas the charges made against Major
General Shavendra Silva were categorical.
Greatest crime - Wimal Weerawansa MP
National Freedom Front Leader Wimal
Weerawansa said that the NDF candidate Sarath Fonseka had
not taken revenge from one person but from the entire Nation
and it was the greatest crime he had committed against the
country. People should stand up as one, irrespective of
party differences to defend the country, he added.