Sri Lanka’s wartime army chief says his conscience is clear and he would welcome a war crimes investigation to prove his innocence.
“The allegations are there,” Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said in an interview with the Guardian. “We have to clear our name.”
In May 2009 the then General Fonseka was the head of the Sri Lankan army that defeated the Tamil Tigers, or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, ending Sri Lanka’s brutal 26-year civil war.
Nearly two years later, a UN secretary general’s panel of experts reported that both government forces and the Tamil Tigers had potentially committed serious human rights violations in the final stages of the war.
Shocking footage of the war’s end emerged shortly after, suggesting widespread crimes had been committed by forces under Fonseka’s command.