Sri Lanka says could hang former army chief

June 7, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s top defence official has threatened to hang the country’s former army chief if he cooperates with any investigation into war crimes during the civil war that ended one year ago. Rajapakse repeated a promise by the president that the authorities would not allow any international investigation into the conduct of the armed forces.

“We are an independent country, we have the ability to investigate all these things,” he said.

Fonseka, who is now a member of parliament, has called for an investigation and offered to cooperate.

“I will not protect anyone, from the very top to the bottom,” he vowed last month.

He has accused the president’s brother of ordering the execution of surrendering rebels, a charge Gotabhaya has vehemently rejected. Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse told the BBC’s Hardtalk programme that Sarath Fonseka, who is currently being court-martialled on separate charges, would be executed as a traitor if he tried to expose alleged war crimes.

Fonseka fell out with President Mahinda Rajapakse and his brother Gotabhaya after the Tamil Tiger guerrillas were defeated in May last year.

The United Nations estimated that 7,000 civi