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Lanka upset over US wish to quiz Fonseka

world Updated: Nov 03, 2009 23:13 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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An annoyed Colombo on Monday said that the US government should drop plans to question the country’s top military commander on alleged war crimes committed during the last phase of the war against the separatist LTTE.

Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka, currently on a private visit to the US, received a letter from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), calling him for an interview on November 4 in Oklahoma City.

A DHS attorney said the objective of the interview was to use him “as a source against human rights violations done by Secretary/Defence (Gotabhaya Rajapaksa)”.

A US Green Card holder, Fonseka, considered a war hero in Sri Lanka as he was the army chief at the time of LTTE’s defeat, went to the US last week to visit his two daughters.

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said if the DHS carried out the questioning, it could “override Sri Lanka’s position.’’ He added Fonseka would not “fall short of legal assistance, if it (the need) arises.’’

Bogollagama met US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Patricia Butenis to convey Sri Lanka dismay.