Sri Lanka protests at US plan to quiz military chief: report

November 2, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka summoned the United States ambassador in Colombo on Monday to protest over US plans to quiz the island’s military commander about alleged war crimes, a report said. The report covered the period from January — when fighting intensified — until the end of May, when Sri Lankan troops defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at the end of a decades-old separatist conflict.

Sri Lanka last week announced it was appointing a panel to investigate the allegations after initially dismissing the report as “unsubstantiated.” The privately-run Daily Mirror newspaper said the Sri Lankan government objected to General Sarath Fonseka, currently visiting Oklahoma, being interviewed over his conduct during the conflict against Tamil Tiger rebels.

“A senior government official told Daily Mirror that General Fonseka was on an official visit to the USA and carried a diplomatic passport. Therefore the US government has no right to quiz General Fonseka,” the report said.

Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry declined to comment on the report, while US embassy spokesman Jeff Anderson said his office “was looking into the matter.”

Officials said Sri Lankan dip