Those levelling charges of war crimes on Sri Lanka in Geneva were not in favour of peace, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said here on Tuesday.

Delivering the country’s 66th Independence Day address — less than two months ahead of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, he said such attempts sought to drive fear into people and nations committed to peace and working to safeguard a country’s independence and freedom. “These are not founded on peace, fair play or justice,” President Rajapaksa added.

In an apparent rejection of external intervention, he said: “We Sri Lankans who were born in this country, were brought up in this country, and live in this country, have every desire to protect the peace and unity of our country much more than any others from outside.”

Condemning the actions of the LTTE, he said no one else but the current regime came forward to give “freedom to the people of the North that they enjoy today.”

At a time when Sri Lanka is witnessing heated debates on Geneva and a possible international probe, the President said it was necessary for the people in the north to be aware that certain foreign forces were attempting to use them as human shields. “The invaders always came to our country shedding oceans of crocodile tears. They interfered in these countries putting forward claims to protect human rights, establish democracy and the rule of law,” he said.