Dec 30, 2017

'Difference between war-hero & murderer should be identified' Featured

Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake says that although he firmly believes the Sri Lanka Army did not commit war crimes, no one should be frightened to examine them, should there be any charges as such.

He was speaking during a Facebook live interview with the BBC Sinhala Service.

"If there are more charges, it is our responsibility to support investigations. We are prepared to do so. If such incidents had taken place, the Army has no intention of concealing them. I am saying this because no such incident took place," he said.

Political leadership
The Commander said that the decision to hold such a probe does not lie in his hands but in the hands of the country's political leadership.

Noting that foreign intervention on this regard is unnecessary, the commander is of the opinion that Sri Lanka is capable of providing the necessary legal facilities.

Assuring that the Army would support probes on this regard, the commander also stated that the difference between a war hero and a murderer should be identified.

The commander also questioned the use of the term 'war hero' following the end of the war in 2009 against the LTTE.

'The present use of this term is a blemish to the Army, Navy and Airforce. If the term is used for those standing on the roads instead of giving the true war veterans who fought the war, the distinction they deserve, I regret it very much as the Army commander,' he added.

Ekneligoda files missing?
Upon being asked on the charges levelled by the 'Ravaya' newspaper, which accused the Army of not supporting the investigation on the Prageeth Ekneligoda disappearance, the commander retorted whether dossiers pertaining to an incident in 2010 would remain safe seven years later.

However, he rejected charges that the military is collecting data on candidates of the upcoming LG polls in the Northern Province.

Nevertheless, the commander said that the military is collecting data on civilians to ensure their safety.

The complete interview in Sinhala is shown below :

(Source & video : BBC Sinhala Service)