Sri Lankan Chief of Defense Staff General Sarath Fonseka fled the
According to Fonseka and other Sri Lankan officials, the DHS contacted the general on October 28 during his trip to the
Fonseka, who holds a
In the Sri Lankan parliamnent, this was portrayed as the actions of a partriotic citizen.
“In the same way this brave soldier rid the country of terrorism, he is now on his way home without betraying the nation,” AFP quoted Samantha Vidyaratne as telling the Sri Lankan parliament.
Earlier, in a letter to the Sri Lankan Embassy in
Fonseka said one of the officials had asked him whether he was prepared to be a ‘source’ against the ‘Defence Minister’ of
The official had then told him he had meant Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, to which Fonseka allegedly replied that he was the Defence Secretary and not the Defence Minister.
This conversation had been followed with a formal request by the Department of Homeland Security for a ‘voluntary meeting’ with Fonseka.
Given that Fonseka is only a
This is however not the case for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who holds
The Sri Lankan government claimed responsibility for facilitating Fonseka’s departure from the
“We facilitated General Fonseka's early departure ahead of his Wednesday meeting with the DHS,” Rohitha Bogollagama told Reuters.
“General Fonseka is a high-ranking public official and our position is that he cannot be used as a source against another high ranking official. That's incriminating".
Separately reports confirmed that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was questioned by US immigration authorities on his arrival in the
“This was not revealed to the media at that time. However, our Defence Secretary has been questioned for one hour by some
“Nevertheless, they have no right to question him on human rights issues. Now, these foreign forces appear to have renewed their conspiracy to hound the political and military leaders who led this war to a successful completion. They are trying to use General Fonseka for this purpose,” the Daily Mirror newspaper quoted him as saying.
"It happened and I was there," Bogollagama said of the Rajapaksa interview. "We took all the necessary actions that were required."
“If there was an investigation, there's nothing we can provide. Especially in cases that are very sensitive under human-rights violations, until that person or group were fully investigated [we] would never comment,” ICE spokesman Brandon Alvarez-Montgomery was quoted as saying by Time magazine.
Fonseka is known to have made some public remarks about the war in
At an event in
Similarly, at a speech at a Buddhist temple in the
"[T]he US action to request meeting does not augur well for Mr Fonseka's legal future in the US,” a representative for Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) told TamilNet.
“Private plaintiffs are ready to file law-suits against Mr Fonseka under existing US tort statutes, if his sovereign immunity is found to be non-enforcable. When the General relinquishes his military office in
TAG is a US based pressure group that filed a model indictment with the Justice Department against Fonseka and Gotabhaya Rajapakse, and is continuing to collect evidence, including Satellite evidence, for war crimes against