Addressing the gathering at the launch of former Army Commander (retired) Jerry de Silva’s compilation ‘War Heroes Killed in Action’, Rajapaksa said international judges will be engaged by the government in investigating war crimes allegations against military personnel according to an agreement made with the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“They are trying to brand our war heroes as war crimes perpetrators and attempting to engage international judges to find them guilty of these allegations,” Rajapaksa said addressing the gathering at the BMICH in Colombo.
Not opposed to a domestic investigation!
However, President Sirisena addressing a group of Tamil journalists a month ago said he had no idea if international judges should or should not be engaged in investigating war crimes incidents against the armed forces.
He did not oppose a domestic investigation regarding these ‘incidents’ of war crimes violations in that instance either.
Compensation for military families
Although President Sirisena assured that he would commit himself to the welfare of injured or dead war heroes and their families, the former President rejected these assurances as well.
“When the Tigers are being compensated, there is no compensation for the spouse of the war hero,”Rajapaksa added.
He condemned former President Chandrika Bandaranaike and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera too for demoralising the armed forces.
Mahinda was there when he was Minister
“I still can’t figure out why certain parties who were within my government carried the ‘Sudu Nelum’ and ‘Thawalama, campaign around the country in in order to stop the war,” said Rajapaksa.
The ‘Sudu Nelum’ and ‘Thawalama, campaigns were launched during President Chandrika’s tenure by Minister Mangala Samaraweera and the awareness celebration in January 1996 was held at the Mahaweli Centre in Colombo with the assistance of then Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Meanwhile, former Defence Secretary and Rajapaksa allies participated in the releasing of General (rtd) Jerry de Silva’s ‘War heroes killed in action’, while notable absentees were heads of security forces.