November 1, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka called on US authorities to drop plans to interview the island’s military commander over allegations of war crimes against ethnic Tamil rebels, an official said Sunday. The Colombo government held “very high-level” talks to prevent General Sarath Fonseka, currently visiting Oklahoma, from being quizzed over his conduct during the conflict against the Tamil Tigers, the official said.
The privately-run Sunday Times newspaper here said Fonseka had been asked to present himself for an interview with the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday.
The move “prompted fears in Colombo that Washington is asserting its legal authority over the ‘war crimes’ report” released last month, the paper said referring to a State Department dossier on alleged war crimes.
The report outlined excesses by security forces and Tiger rebels during the final stages of fighting earlier this year. The report, submitted to the US Congress, refers to Fonseka’s having overstepped his brief.
The Sunday Times said the Sri Lankan diplomatic mission there was already providing legal assistance to Fonseka.
Fonseka is a US Green Card holder and travelled to the US last week to vi