TNA rejects army report

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has rejected the report by the army court of inquiry, the first part of which was presented to Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday.

TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that it is a “joke” for the army court to conclude that army had not killed a single civilian during the war.

He says the government must accept the truth, investigate the allegations and publicly accept its mistakes for there to be real reconciliation.

The army said that evidence before the army court had conclusively established that the war was conducted strictly in accordance with the “Zero Civilian Casualty” directive made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and commanders at all times obeyed the said directive and even where the LTTE allegedly fired from No Fire Zones, commanders refrained from firing at such No Fire Zones. It has also been revealed that as an additional measure of safety, artillery commanders had added 500 meters more to the boundaries of No Fire Zoness given by higher headquarters.

The army court also noted that the International community had failed in their duty to stop war crimes committed by the LTTE.

Suresh Premachandran meanwhile dismissed claims by the government that India was responsible for the war.

He said that if successive governments had addressed the core issues faced by the Tamils then Tamil militant groups would not have formed in Sri Lanka in the first place.

“It’s absurd to blame India. All the mistakes are those made by the successive governments in Sri Lanka,” he said.

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had blamed the former Indian administration for the war in Sri Lanka which dragged for 30 years.

The government information department had quoted Rajapaksa as telling the local media that India could never absolve itself of the responsibility for creating terrorism in Sri Lanka, though some of those directly involved in subverting Sri Lanka were blaming the Rajapaksa administration for the plight of Tamil speaking people in the country. (Colombo Gazette)

Report by Easwaran Rutnam