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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2957

President Pardoning Sunil Rathnayaka is the Right Thing -

By Dilrook Kannangara

The president must be commended for pardoning Sunil Rathnayaka. It’s the right thing to do. Those who howl foul about it are missing the point. They are wrong on many counts.

Sunil committed no war crime. Some half-baked reporters say Sunil was in prison for a war crime. No such accusation or charge was made against him in court. He was charged for murder and other offences but not for war crimes. So many others who have committed murder, arson, terrorism and robbery have been pardoned over the years. A very large number of Tamil terrorists have received presidential pardon. They killed scores of civilians. There cannot be two different laws and two different treatments for different convicted persons. Sunil too deserves the same pardon.

The court convicted only Sunil for the crime which could not have been committed by a single individual. That itself proves his conviction is wrong. Going through the material presented to court, one cannot be satisfied that all relevant context was presented. The incident happened just a year after the then president was bombed by a Tamil old woman and a retire military officer was also bombed by another on the same day. In that context taking precautions is only just. The incident happened at a time when LTTE infiltrated into villages in the north with a view to gather information and ultimately launch an attack after their repeated attacks the same year failed. LTTE was well known to use civilians to do their terrorist acts. Using civilian spotters” was a common tactic of Tamil terrorists. Were these facts presented to the court substantially?

Sunil committed no war crime. Some half-baked reporters say Sunil was in prison for a war crime. No such accusation or charge was made against him in court. He was charged for murder and other offences but not for war crimes.

The alleged incident is not the only case where Sunil was involved. He was involved in many incidents where his courage and bravery saved massive catastrophes saving thousands of lives.

All these matters must be considered when judging the incident.

LTTE Rump and the war crimes mafia were trying to use Sunil’s convicted case as a stepping stone to convict other military officers. Thankfully their plans were foiled by the timely action by the president.

It is shameful that some true Sri Lankans also losing their heads over nonsensical bad luck stories of war losers. They have a lot to learn from Japan. Even if they believe Sunil or anyone else in the military committed war crimes, they deserve human respect. Japanese people including the PM openly venerate adjudged war criminals who were involved in some of the cruelest acts known to mankind. Has that resulted in anything bad for Japan? On the contrary, a nation that is grateful to its saviors thrives and succeeds. A nation that forgets or worse punishes its saviors has no future.

President Gotabaya has done the right thing in pardoning Sunil Rathnayaka. He and his family must be compensated for the grief they went through all on behalf of the safety and prosperity of the nation.

- Asian Tribune -

President Pardoning Sunil Rathnayaka is the Right Thing -
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