An Open Letter to Lucien Wong AG Calling for the Arrest of Gotabaya Rajapakse
26 July 2022
Mr Lucien Wong SC
Attorney General of Singapore
Attorney General’s Chambers
I am writing to urge you to charge Mr Gotabaya Rajapakse, the former President of Sri Lanka, with war crimes and crimes against humanity under universal jurisdiction. Our Government acknowledged UJ only last year in a speech at the United Nations in Geneva. I have provided a link to your letter to the United Nations below: https://www.un.org/en/ga/sixth/75/pdfs/statements/universal_jurisdiction/11mtg_singapore.pdf
The evidence against Gotabaya Rajapakse is overwhelming and the crimes of which he is accused on such a scale and of so heinous a nature that the evidentiary requirements for him to be charged are amply fulfilled. The crimes of which he is accused are set out in great detail in the criminal complaint from the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) and do not need to be repeated here but they include the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians and surrendered enemy combatants, the deliberate bombing and shelling of hospitals and civilian facilities, the mutilation of bodies and the use of torture and rape as a weapon.
As a Singaporean citizen I appreciate our multi-cultural society and even though I am of Tamil extraction, the concerns over Rajapakse’s crimes are shared by all Singaporeans. This is not a minority interest matter. However that family’s presence in Singapore is a particular affront to our Tamil community, many of whom had or have relatives in Sri Lanka who were killed or injured by Sri Lankan soldiers during the civil war, were made homeless, suffered starvation or were forced to flee the country losing what little they had. I recall my father J B Jeyaretnam telling me how his relative had described how she had to watch as her husband was hacked to death by a rampaging mob. He himself told us the story of how he was almost killed by a soldier when on a holiday in Sri Lanka before the end of the civil war.
I am at a loss to understand why the Government decided to allow Gotabaya Rajapakse to enter Singapore in the first place but I am equally disturbed by ICA statements that visitor passes are assessed on a case by case basis. We Singaporeans need assurances about his visit and acknowledgement of his crimes. Because he resigned as President once he arrived here he has lost his immunity as a Head of State, presenting you with an opportunity to arrest him.
I understand you have also received a similar letter from the Chair of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils. It is shocking that more attention is paid by the UK Parliament to the crimes committed by this man than by our Government.
Finally I would also seek assurances that the Rajapakses are not taking advantage of our banking secrecy laws whilst visiting our island.
The Reform Party