Sri Lanka military chief skips US war crimes quiz: MP

November 4, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s military commander left the United States ahead of possible questioning over alleged war crimes committed during the defeat of the island’s Tamil rebels, a legislator said Wednesday. General Sarath Fonseka headed back to Sri Lanka without facing questioning by the Department of Homeland Security later in the day, Samantha Vidyaratne told parliament.

“In the same way this brave soldier rid the country of terrorism, he is now on his way home without betraying the nation,” Vidyaratne said.

Fonseka holds US permanent residency and travelled to the US last week to visit his daughters in Oklahoma.

Sri Lanka said on Monday that it feared US authorities were trying to force Fonseka to provide evidence against Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse over the allegations of human rights violations.

The defence secretary, who holds US citizenship, is the younger brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Sri Lankan troops in May killed the leaders of the Tamil Tigers, ending one of Asia’s longest-running and bloodiest insurgencies that aimed to create a separate homeland for the island’s Tamil minority.

A US State Department report presented to Congress last