Fonseka to testify against Jayasuriya
Threat of international war crimes probe
September 1, 2017, 11:04 pm
By Upali de Saram and Norman Palihawadane
Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday said he was ready to give evidence against his successor in the army, General Jagath Jayasuriya if the latter was tried for war crimes.
Field Marshal Fonseka said he had received information that General Jayasuriya had committed various offences as the Commandant of the Vanni range.
Fonseka said that when he was the commander of the army Jayasuriya had been tasked to head supplies and rehabilitation work in Vavuniya. There was information that Jayasuriya had misused his position but due action could not be taken as the then Secretary Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was protecting Jayasuriya, Fonseka said.
The Field Marshal said he was ready to make information in his possession available if an inquiry commenced against General Jayasuriya.
Fonseka said that he had requested the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa not to appoint Jayasuriya Army Commander but the then President had made that appointment overlooking 17 officers senior to Jayasuriya.
Fonseka said that if the corrupt officers were given due punishment then about 200,000 soldiers who had taken part in the war could be cleared of war crime charges.
Fonseka said that he and many other military officials found it difficult to obtain visas to countries such as the US because there had been no action against errant officers. If no legal action was taken against such officers locally then the international community would be compelled to do so, Fonseka said.