COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday categorically stated that he will not make any “war hero” a suspect in cases of alleged war crimes.
Speaking at the opening of the newly constructed building at the Defense Services School in Kurunegala, the President said that it is the responsibility and duty of the government to protect war heroes who fought for the motherland.
He assured that that he would always fulfill his responsibility as the President and Defense Minister.
Sirisena said that there is “unprecedented goodwill” for Sri Lanka in the international community today but many people wonder as to what benefit Sri Lanka would derive from this.
“We are utilizing that goodwill and friendship for the protection of the honor and respect of our war heroes,” the President said.
He added that the most powerful world leaders have assured him that they would stand by Sri Lanka’s independence and democracy and issues pertaining to the members of armed forces.
The President said that he would always take the fullest responsibility on behalf of any problem faced by the officers, staff members and war heroes who fought against the LTTE.
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in its resolutions including those of 2015 and 2017 have called for the prosecution of officers who had commanded armed forces units against whom there were charges of rights violations and war crimes.
Recently, the Australian High Commission had refused to give a visa to Maj.Gen. Chagi Gallage because he commanded a unit which took part in the last part of the war when the armed forces allegedly committed war crimes like targeted killing of civilians.
The President, however, made it clear that he cannot protect those armed forces personnel who are found guilty of acts that are not connected to national security and those who are guilty of killing media persons