Lankan court summons Def Sec Gotabhaya in ''White Flag'' case

Colombo, Jan 13 (PTI) Sri Lanka''s powerful DefenceSecretary was today ordered to appear before a High Court totestify in the controversial ''white flag'' case where thedetained former army chief reportedly claimed that troops shotdead surrendering Tamil leaders during the final stages ofethnic conflict in May 2009.

The Colombo High Court today ordered GotabhayaRajapaksa to appear before it on January 25 to testify in oncontroversial ''white flag'' case against former Army Commanderand Democratic National Alliance (DNA) leader Sarath Fonseka,who sentenced to 30 months of hard labour for irregularitiesin military purchases, ColomboPage online said today.

Fonseka was accused of disclosing state secrets forallegedly telling The Sunday Leader newspaper in an interviewthat Defence Secretary Rajapaksa had ordered the shooting ofsenior LTTE cadres who tried to surrender to the securityforces carrying white flags during the final stages of thewar.

The Defence Secretary is the fourth witness to testifyin the trial, the report said.

Fonseka faces a plethora of court cases and is alsoappealing against two courts martial convictions whichstripped him of his rank and pension.

The former four-star General, the key military figurewho led the armed forces to a historic victory over the TamilTigers, fell out with his former commander in chief, PresidentMahinda Rajapaksa and ended up challenging him at the Januarypolls.

Within two weeks of losing the election, Fonseka wasarrested and tried by military courts.

The Lankan military crushed the rebels in May 2009 andended the ethnic conflict that killed between 80,000 and100,000 people.

The LTTE waged a bloody three-decade civil war for aseparate state for the Tamils of Sri Lanka, allegingdiscrimination against the minority community at the hands ofthe majority Sinhalas. PTI

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