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Try Lanka President as 'war criminal': Tamil

IANS
Dec 14, 2009 at 10:54pm IST

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Toronto: Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada have called for an international trial of the Sri Lankan President for allegedly ordering the killing of surrendering LTTE leaders during the ethnic war that ended in May.

Former Sri Lankan army chief and Opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka has alleged that Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa ordered troops to kill three top LTTE leaders when they raised white flags to surrender.

The Defence Secretary is the brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

UNDER ATTACK: Tamils in Canada says Mahinda Rajapaksa is a war criminal.

The killed Tamil leaders included LTTE Peace Secretariat head Seevaratnam Puleedevan, political wing head Balasingham Nandesan, and top military commander Ramesh and their families.

"From day one we knew that war crimes were being committed by the Sri Lankan army, but the international community asked us: where is the proof? Now the proof has come from the top army guy,'' Canadian Tamil Congress spokesman David Poopalapillai told IANS.

"What more proof do world leaders and the international community now need to try the Sri Lankan president and his men for crimes against humanity?'' he asked.

"Rajapaksa is a war criminal. He should be taken to The Hague to face trial for war crimes. No nation has violated the Geneva Convention as flagrantly as Sri Lanka. No nation ever killed the surrendering enemy.''

The Canadian Tamil leader said the international community should deal with the Sri Lankan president "in a similar way it dealt with Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein.''

He said the Tamil diaspora around the world is writing to the UN, the International Court of Justice and world leaders to put the Sri Lankan president on trial immediately.

"We are drafting our petition and will send it soon to the world leaders, including Canada and India, to put Mahinda Rajapaksa and his men in the dock for war crimes,'' he said.

Canada has the largest concentration of Sri Lankan Tamils outside Sri Lanka, with most of the 300,000-strong community concentrated in the Toronto area.

Though Canada banned the LTTE in 2006, the community staged vociferous rallies in Toronto and at the Canadian parliament to put pressure on Sri Lanka to stop the war against the LTTE.

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