Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena reiterating his pledge to protect war heroes from foreign tribunals said if there are any errant Army personnel, they will be produced before Sri Lankan courts and tried according to the existing law of the country.
The President has emphasized that no Human Rights organizations in the world be allowed to pressure the Sri Lanka Army on whatever grounds and the UN has been informed of Sri Lanka’s capability as a sovereign State to find solutions to its own problems without any foreign interference.
The President has expressed these views on Thursday addressing a representative gathering of more than 350 high ranking army officers at the Colombo Army Hospital auditorium.
Defense Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne, and Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake welcomed the President to the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, the President called upon the army officers to continue with their dedicated roles for the sake of the country.
“You all have dedicatedly come forward to safeguard the country and also in times of national disasters all the time at the risk of your own lives, for which we are indebted to you. In the most recent past, you all stood by the nation and took the lead when national disasters, epidemics, landslides, etc. struck us and I need your continued support for development of our country as we march forward as a peaceful society, rich with co-existence, reconciliation, harmony and understanding.”
He assured that as long as he remains the head of the country, none of the war heroes would be allowed to testify before any war tribunals. Instead, such errant Army personnel, if any can be produced before Courts and tried according to the existing law of the country, he added.
“Unlike the disgruntled politicians and some retired Army personnel allege saying that the War Heroes would be tried and punished, I, as the President of this country would not allow anyone be subjected to interrogations of foreign judges as such. Therefore you should not be misled by those baseless allegations and misleading statements.”
The President appealing to the army personnel to believe in him and to be misled by statements, rumors and detractors, commended them for their service when disaster strikes.
“I commend all of you for the excellent services you rendered during the times of natural disasters and request you to extend your best cooperation for sustenance of reconciliation and peace in the country as a nation,” he said.
The President also insisted that unlike in the past, no war hero’s overseas visa would be denied in future and will ensure their overseas visits are facilitated without any hindrance.
He also underlined the need for everyone to maintain the hard-earned peace for the country’s prosperity and assured that the government would do everything possible to sustain the status-quo and make the Sri Lankan Army one of the best in the world in future.