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Sri Lanka general's book becomes war crime dossier: FM

By Our Political Correspondent

Mar 18, 2017 08:55 AM GMT+0530 | 7 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Anti-Sri Lanka activists have snapped up retired army general Kamal Gunaratne's tome to buttress their allegations of war crimes against government forces, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.

The 741-page "Road to Nandikadal" published by Gunaratne the day after he retired from the army, was a catalogue of atrocities committed by government forces since early 1980s, the minister told reporters at his ministry this week.

Setting fire to homes of Tamil civilians, killing innocent civilians and plundering valuables of homes under the guise of cordon-and-search operations have been listed by Gunaratne in minute detail.

The minister said the language used by Gunaratne also indicated that he derived pleasure by seeing the death and destruction around him and in his own words he had admitted that as an officer he did nothing to discipline soldiers under his command.

The book details how government forces set fire to homes and buses in Jaffna during the “1983 referendum (sic - page 30)”   and Gunaratne as a young officer "watched it unfold, at times with amazement and at times with eagerness." The referendum was actually held in December 1982.

Gunaratne's original unit, the Rajarata Rifles, was disbanded but Gunaratne himself escapes punishment according to his book and the unit emerges as the "mighty Gajaba Regiment."

Minister Samaraweera said Gunaratne's book was replete with day-to-day incidents where Gunaratne admitted that he personally assaulted Tamil youngsters for riding motorcycles without wearing helmets.

He also speaks of soldiers robbing Tamil homes during cordon-and search operations.

He claims he was the first officer to have captured a suspect who took cyanide in military custody.

I became famous in the army as the first officer to capture a terrorist who swallowed cyanide in custody. I regret not having been able to discover the cyanide when we searched him, upon capture."

"I was happy to see these terrorists, who were born as children of our motherland and were trying to destroy it, dying one by one," Gunaratne says in his book.

He also took pleasure at the deaths of Tamil political leaders at the hands of Tigers.

"Whilst there may be some who were saddened by these killings, I must confess  that as a young patriotic officer who had witnessed too much of hatred and mayhem caused by their ideology, I was happy. Though I may have been wrong to feel such happiness, it is the unvarnished truth," Gunaratne said in page 80 of his book.

Minister Samaraweera said Gunaratne's book was being distributed abroad by pro-LTTE diaspora group to discredit the Sri Lankan army and support their claims of systemic persecution of Tamils. It was also being circulated in Geneva during the Human Rights Council sessions.

"This book provides evidence to those who accuse Sri Lankan forces of war crimes," the minister said.

He also noted that Gunaratne's account of the discovery of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's body contradicts with an another account he gave the Lakbima newspaper in June 2009, less than a month after the end of the war.

On page 729, Gunaratne says Prabhakaran was wearing military camouflaged uniform of the LTTE and that he also had his LTTE identity card and dog tag when the  body was brought before him by soldiers on May 19, 2009.

However, in an interview to the Lakbima newspaper on June 7, 2009, Gunaratne had claimed that it was his troops who dressed Prabhakaran in LTTE military uniform and that the terror leader was in civilian clothing when he was killed.

By his own account, he had tampered with a dead body. (COLOMBO, March 18, 2017)


 

7 Comments

  1. DS March 19, 09:23 AM

    Sri Lanka's most shameful foreign minister is Mangala Samaraweera. Now I understand why MR removed Mangala as FM. Looks like he will be removed for the 2nd time from Foreign Ministry office

  2. mudalige March 19, 07:29 AM

    Major General Guneratne needs to be congratulated for his audacity to have come out with the truth. If more army personnel make confessions of this nature, there is hope for this nation. Greatness does not lie in denial but of acceptance of truth and seeking reconciliation.

  3. surasena March 19, 07:33 AM

    There must be rules and regulations preventing military officers (retired or otherwise) discussing matters related to national security via media books or any other medium. Unless, the next book may be from Karannagoda and he will explain how underground bunkers were maintained to detained students for ransom.

  4. Andare March 19, 07:06 AM

    Can't imagine what has gone wrong with us Sri Lankans. When the Hon. Minister has pointed out evidence provided by a Retired ,self centered General providing much needed evidence to castigate our forces, some fools think the Hon.Minister is the person to be blamed. This country will never bloom as long as idiots like you think only about the Sinhalese.
    .
    The day everybody start thinking about Sri Lanka as a country that is home to all it's citizens irrespective of being Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims, the so called bloom will take place.

  5. Tony March 19, 01:42 AM

    Minister Samaraweera was part of LTTE movement during the war. Mangala and Rajitha Senarathna travelled to Jaffna without LTTE checking because they were working together to remove previous government who decided to defeat LTTE.

  6. Yasin March 18, 08:47 AM

    Not surprising, another Sinhalese letting the cat out of the bag. Sinhalese are the curse of the country and there is no foreseeable cure for this curse until the Sinhalese are united as one. When this happens the nation will bloom into prosperity.
    But this is only a dream because the Sinhalese are backstabbers as we can all see this happening in the political arena and among the Sinhalese people. Due to this the nation suffers and the minorities suffer as well for no reason of theirs

  7. Sinhaya March 18, 07:37 AM

    It takes only an absolute sicko to mis-interpret the good General's book and the so called Foreign Minister is a glowing example of that. When thousands if not millions have read this book and approved hundred percent while commending this brave officer who sacrificed all his working life to give a tomorrow to the likes of Mangala Samaraweera, he goes on with a show of his retardedness to the whole world. Mother Lanka is so unfortunate, her foreign policy is run by a retard puppetereed by another retard.

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