The military would counter allegations contained in the unsubstantiated report by UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s Panel of Experts (PoE), Army Chief Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya said yesterday. A confident Jayasuriya emphasized that the military was in the process of finalizing its response to the PoE’s allegations.
Responding to a query by The Island, the former Vanni Commander said that the UN report had contained a spate of erroneous information pertaining to the deployment of those fighting formations deployed on the Vanni east front.
Sri Lanka is expected to present the report to the UN early next year. A senior spokesperson for the External
Affairs Ministry told The Island that there were many inaccuracies in the PoE report. Some of these shortcomings had been exposed by Sri Lanka’s No 2 at the UN Ambassador Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva.
The armored corps veteran was speaking to the media after inspecting a parade at the Rock House Camp to mark 56th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps.
Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya said that the military would provide details regarding deployment of troops during the final stage with the required evidence to back Sri Lanka’s position. The SLA would also provide information regarding deployment of fighting formations vis a vis No Firing Zones on the Vanni east.
Earlier in the day, the Army Chief paid a glowing tribute to the Corps for not promoting its interests at the expense of the national interest. The Colonel Commandant of the Corps said that it had won praise as the best and the most disciplined formation due to leadership given by successive Colonel Commandants, senior officers and the sacrifices made by all officers, non-commissioned officers and other rankers.
Jayasuriya’s predecessor, Gen. Sarath Fonseka, too, held the prestigious post of Colonel Commandant of the Sinha Regiment during the eelam war IV.
He emphasized the importance of the SLA’s role in the ongoing post-war development process not only in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, but other areas as well. The army chief urged officers and men to be disciplined and loyal to the Corps and the SLA and strive to achieve the top post in every field.