COLOMBO, Nov 1 The US government has asked Sri Lanka's Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and former Army chief Gen Sarath Fonseka, to give evidence against Defence Secretary and brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, on war crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces in the final phase of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam media reports said on Sunday.
The Sri Lankan foreign ministry confirmed the report and said the government was “examining the issue.”
Gen Fonseka, who is now on a visit to the US to keep his Green Card, wrote to the Sri Lankan embassy in Washington that he had been asked by US officials to give evidence against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over alleged human rights abuses during the war against the LTTE, the Colombo based Daily Mirror and Ada Derana websites said, quoting highly placed diplomatic sources. US officials had reportedly contacted the CDS on his son-in-law's telephone at Oklahoma to make the request, Gen Fonseka said in his letter.
Earlier, Sri Lanka's Sunday Times had reported that Gen Fonseka was asked to face a “voluntary meeting” with the US Department of Homeland Security prompting fears in Colombo that Washington was asserting its legal authority over the Green Card holding Sri Lankan general over the “war crimes” report. The State Department had submitted report to the Congress on Oct 22.
While Gen Fonseka is on his way to becoming a citizen of the US, the Defence Secretary is already a US citizen. Sri Lanka allows dual citizenship and persons with dual citizenship can hold key government positions.