Sri Lankan forces eliminated surrendering Tiger leaders on the orders of the defence secretary who had instructed that "all LTTE leaders must be killed", ex-army chief Gen Sarath Fonseka has claimed, prompting the government to describe it as a "great betrayal".
In an explosive interview to The Sunday Leader, Gen Fonseka, opposition Presidential candidate, said no information was communicated to him in the final days of the war that three key LTTE leaders -- Nadesan, Pulidevan and Ramesh -- had opted to surrender.
Fonseka said that communications were instead confined between the LTTE leaders, Norway, various foreign parties, Basil Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament and the powerful senior adviser to the President and such information was never conveyed to him as he supervised the final stages of the war.
"Later, I learnt that Basil had conveyed this information to Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa – who in turn spoke with Brigadier Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army's 58th Division, giving orders not to accommodate any LTTE leaders attempting surrender and that 'they must all be killed'," he said.
Fonseka's remark drew sharp reaction from the government which described it as a "great betrayal"
Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who addressed an urgently called media briefing, said Fonseka owes an explanation on his charges as it would tantamount to speaking against the army which had a clean record.