“Elilan was never handed over to the army,” claimed Sarath Fonseka, the former military commander of the occupying SL military, at a press conference held in Jaffna on Saturday. “Elilan was an important man and if he was handed over to the army, as the commander of the army, I will know. He was never handed over to the army,” Mr Fonseksa said, once again whitewashing the genocidal SL military from serious war crimes committed under his command during the final days of the war in Vanni. Fonseka, who visited Jaffna on election campaign for his ‘Democratic Party’ went further with a humiliating comment that some families of war-dead LTTE cadres were claiming them as ‘missing’ in order to claim compensation. Sarath Fonseka also went on record blaming the current SL military commander in Jaffna as a very corrupt officer at the press conference held in Jaffna.
Despite the existence of public evidences, as what happened to former LTTE commander Col Ramesh, the former SL commander was defending his military, reporters in Jaffna told TamilNet.
Fonseka claimed in Jaffna that everyone who were in the custody of the SL military were accounted for when he handed over his responsibilities to the new command. He further claimed that only 12,000 LTTE members were in SLA custody in May 2009.
Sarath Fonseka, however, went on record blaming the current SL military commanders as corrupt. He was particular in stating that the present commander of the SLA in Jaffna peninsula, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, is a corrupt officer. “Hathurusinghe is responsible for many of the atrocities in Jaffna,” he said.
“Even the Police in Jaffna has become helpless,” he declared.
But, Sarath Fonseka was defending the SL military by stating that the “majority of the army are very disciplined people”. Only 5 per cent of the military is corrupt, he said.
Hathurusinghe must be operating a team of four five soldiers and getting them to do the wrong things, he added.
“When I was commander of the army, Hathurusinghe was caught for taking bribes from one of the LTTE leaders in Colombo, 30,000 rupees per month. He is a very corrupt officer. If he has ‘recommended’ any people from Jaffna to be candidates [of the UPFA], I am sure he must be doing it after taking bribes from them,” he told the reporters when questioned about his comments on SL military involvement in the assaults and the military’s role in promoting certain UPFA candidates in the provincial elections. The SL military was also putting up posters and destroying the posters of the TNA, the reporters said while posing questions to the former SL military commander.
Fonseka blamed the senior army officer in Jaffna for an attack on his ‘Democratic Party’ chief organizer in Jaffna, Mr Krishnakumar, last week.
A group of thugs carrying swords and knives had attacked Mr Krishnakumar. This is also happening in other provinces where his party was contesting, he said.
“Although the [Rajapaksa] government is trying to show the world that they are having elections here, they are not going to do it democratically,” Fonseka said.
Responding to a question on Navanetham Pillay’s visit, Fonseka said she had not met him despite his request.
There was more focus to North and East on human rights violations. But, more human rights violations are being committed in the south these days, Fonseka claimed. He thanked Ms Navi Pillay for having stated the present regime as authoritarian.
Fonseka was campaigning for a ‘Sri Lankan’ identity and was ‘reminding’ the press that the TNA had supported him in the last presidential elections. His party wanted to become next to the TNA in the PC elections in North, he said.