Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who led the Army on behalf of the then government, has admitted having launched a heavy weapon attack on a no fire zone, radiogagana.com reports quoting its sister channel IBC Tamil TV
In an interview in Colombo, Fonseka said Pudukudirippu Hospital was targeted in a heavy weapons attack, but that it was a mistake.
His remark challenges the then government’s continuous claim that it had not carried out such an attack.
According to international war conventions, attacking hospitals is a war crime and a crime against humanity.
The ex-Army chief said he was prepared to take responsibility if any war crime had been committed.
The UN and the Maxwell Paranagama presidential commission have described the killing of LTTE political chief Balasingham Nadesan and head of the peace secretariat Seevaratnam Pulidevan while trying to surrender to the military on 18 May 2009 on a promise by the government on their safety as a war crime, and stressed the need for an independent inquiry.
Fonseka too, said an international investigation should definitely take place.
Another war crime charge against the Sri Lanka military is sexual abuse and killing of arrested female LTTE cadres, with UN citing several video footage, in which LTTE television announcer Isaipriya and several cadres are seen under military arrest.
An Army document said the 53 brigade killed Isaipriya on 18 May 2009.
Fonseka described it as a deplorable act, and said he should have known had it taken place when he was the commander.
Uda muktha03 600px 15 11 13 The ex-Army chief said the UN reports that around 40,000 civilians had been killed in the war were completely false, and said ex-UNHRC chief Navi Pillai’s statistics were unreasonable.
Satellite footage published by the UN and human rights groups show destruction caused to populated areas of Wanni due to bombings.
Fonseka said the military had the hi-tech equipment to know what happens in the ground during an attack.
He stressed that he had led the war in accordance with international and human rights conventions.
The military maintains secret camps, he said, adding that Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman too, was hidden in one such camp following his defection from the LTTE.
Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has rejected allegations by UN and human rights groups that persons were being tortured at undeclared camps.
Fonseka said secret camps were an essential part of military intelligence, but accused the former president and the ex-defence secretary of having maintained paramilitary groups.
He went onto say that Mahinda Rajapaksa had turned down his offer to build a bunker for his safety at a low cost during the war.
The underground building at the president’s house had been built by the former Navy commander, who has had a special connection with Rajapaksa, he added.