Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday pledged to resolve the “problems faced from terrorism” by the people in the North by the end of the year and asserted that there could be no imported solution to the problems faced by the people of the island nation.
Addressing an impressive tri-service victory parade to mark the military victory of the security forces over the LTTE in May last year, Mr. Rajapaksa maintained that Sri Lanka would not accept conditional external aid.
With participation of over 9,000 security forces personnel, the parade was the largest ever military show organised in the island nation. It is billed to be an annual event.
Though he did not take his name, the Mr. Rajapaksa took a dig at the former Army Chief, Sarath Fonseka, who had been the opposition candidate in the Presidential elections, over his statement in a media interview that some of the Tiger cadre who came out to surrender were gunned down under instructions from the Defence Secretary.
“It is an insult to the heroic troops who shed their blood and gave their lives for the country in this great humanitarian operation to say that they shot at terrorist leaders who came carrying white flags,” said Mr. Rajapaksa.
The controversy over General (retired) Fonseka's remark has raged on though he subsequently claimed to have been misquoted.
A few days ago Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the former General would be executed if he falsely testified against the forces on war crime charges.
“Our armed forces comprise those who went to battle carrying a gun in one hand, the Declaration of Human Rights the other, as well as taking food for the liberated people of the North and full of human kindness in their hearts.
It is only those who have hatred towards the country and nation can betray such heroes.
The beneficiaries of such a great betrayal will only be the separatists,” said the President.
Mr. Rajapaksa said it was time for countries facing terrorist attacks to look back and see where they had gone wrong, whereas Sri Lanka has succeeded.
“It is a grave error of judgment to think that while being opposed to terrorism targeting you, to believe that terrorism that is no threat to you is good …The world has so far trod on this wrong path. Terrorism remains unvanquished because of this incorrect thinking.
The countries that show sympathy towards terrorism and separatism will be the victims of terrorism. This is the lesson of history,” he argued.
Meanwhile, the Commission of Inquiry on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation appointed by Mr. Rajapaksa has issued a public notice calling for written representations from the public or individual organisations as the eight-member panel prepares to commence sittings.
The Commission will inquire and report on events which took place between February 21, 2002 and May 19, 2009; namely the facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the ceasefire agreement and the sequence and events which followed thereafter up to the end of the war.
The Commission will inquire whether any person, group or institution, directly or indirectly bears responsibility and look into the institutional, administrative and legislative measures which need to be taken in order to prevent any recurrence of such concerns in the future.