By Jamila Najmuddin VIDEO
Detained former Army Chief, General Sarath Fonseka says he is ready to testify before a war crimes probe if there are allegations backed by evidence and also supported a UN investigation on Sri Lanka in order to clear the country's name.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Mirror online via telephone from Parliament this evening, the General insisted that the army as a unit did not commit any war crimes but added that if any individual was involved then it should be investigated.
“If anybody has committed war crimes and if I know anything about it, if I get any indications I will always come out and expose anything. Anything within my knowledge will be exposed. If anyone has made any indication I’m ready to go into details and find out. Exposing war crimes is a duty of anybody in this country if it is within the knowledge of anybody. Exposing war crimes is an obligation and anybody trying to hide it means he is committing and encouraging war crimes,” the General told Daily Mirror online.
Asked if he agrees to a UN war crimes probe on Sri Lanka the former Army Commander, who was part of the military during the final stages of the conflict, said that as Sri Lanka is working very closely with recognized organizations in the world, if anyone comes out with specific details then the government should cooperate, investigate and clear its name.
“I was supervising the war very closely and personally. I was commanding and worked with all the military operators of the army and even the Air Force. I knew all the details. We didn’t leave any room for anybody to commit any war crimes. And I have always given assurances that the Sri Lanka army never committed any war crime. The air force also ensured no civilian casualties. But if anybody can point out that an individual had committed a war crime we are always there to go into detail and find out. There should not be anything for anyone to hush up or hide or cover you,” Fonseka, who is a Member of Parliament, added.
The General, who is facing charges of conspiring against the government, also said that he does not fear for his life despite Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa telling the BBC the General will “hang” if he betrays the country.
“I do not fear for my life…We are not frightened because we have not committed any mistakes,” the General added. (Daily Mirror online)