Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today vowed to protect the country’s military from possible international scrutiny over allegations of human rights violations during its prolonged conflict to end ethnic violence.
“We will not betray you”,Rajapaksa told his troops during a ceremonial parade to mark the second anniversary of the war victory over the LTTE.
“Our forces carried firearms in one hand and a human rights charter in the other during the war”,the President said adding,”We are proud of the humanness of our military campaign”.
He said,Sri Lanka will not give into any pressure from overseas as it is capable of solving its own problems.
“Sri Lanka can solve its own problems and human rights cannot be guaranteed by only including them in the constitution”,Rajapaksa said.
The President’s remarks come in the backdrop of a recent UN report which accused Sri Lankan Army and the Tamil rebels of serious rights violations and potential war crime and recommended setting up of an Independent International inquiry.
The report received the backing from Western nations and more recently from Indian government.
“We have established genuine human rights by eliminating terrorism”,Rajapaksa said of his military campaign which crushed the LTTE’s military machinery ending its over three decades old campaign to set up a separate Tamil homeland.
Reiterating his government’s position that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s three-member panel had been swayed by representations made by the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora,Rajapaksa charged that LTTE supporters were still trying to destroy Sri Lanka through false propaganda against the island.
The ‘Victory Day’ parade was held here with the participation of over 9000 troops from the three services. Rajapaksa’s speech was followed by a colourful parade of the troops and a 21-gun salute.
On display were military hardware seized from the LTTE during the military campaign.