Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sarath Fonseka in jail

The UN and international rights groups that are gunning for Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes are in for a fix.
These agencies have now been asked to save former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka who is likely to turn a key accused in the event the allegations into Sri Lanka’s crimes are proven to be true.
Though the Commander earned the wrath of locals with the announcement of the ‘white flag incident’, he went on to deny it later and vowed that he would not say anything against the security forces.
Sarath Fonseka still remains a hated character among those who pushed the UN to appoint the panel – the extremist section of the diaspora which did it through influential member states. On the other hand and despite the white flag ‘faux pas’ Fonseka is treated as the ultimate war hero by the masses here.
Given the manner the former Commander turned CDS resigned to his fate at Welikada prison chances are very slim for him to repeat the ‘political blunders’ of the nature of the comment on the white flag incident, even on his release. With the kind of vibrant political ambitions that he still nurses Fonseka is very unlikely to spoil the prospects at home by pandering to the international community.
The agencies, on the other hand, would not throw their weight behind Fonseka unless there was a guarantee that he would be useful to them. Whatever the other members of the DNA may say the JVP would strongly advise him against becoming a witness in support of international investigations even in the event of Fonseka considering such a request.
General Sarath Fonseka’s salvation therefore depends on the effectiveness of the party campaign to stir up the masses against the incarceration of the war hero.
The banning of the poster campaign is indicative of the government fears of a people’s uprising. It is obvious that the UPFA leadership is not comfortable with the way the average man and the influential sections including the clergy are reacting to the imprisonment of the former Army Commander. It knows for a fact that even a small miss would cost the government dearly. Hence the precautions.
However high handed moves to suppress the opposition are likely to send a strong message to the public that the government which had sent Fonseka to jail is out to punish the opposition and that it may be their own turn to face the music next.
Either way it is not going to be easy for the government.

Rajapaksa ready to re-evaluate Fonseka's jail term: report

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is willing to review the 30-month rigorous imprisonment given to former army chief Sarath Fonseka if the latter appeals to him, a report said today. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that the President was ready for a re-evaluation of the
recommendation of the Second Court Martial on the basis of a plea by MP Fonseka, the Island Newspaper quoted the top defence official as saying.

The Convening Officer of the Second Court Martial President Rajapaksa, as the Confirming Authority, yesterday ratified the ruling that Fonseka be sentenced to 30 months.
The former Chief of Defence Staff was charged in accordance with provisions in the Army Act under Section 109 (C) on disgraceful conduct.
Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said Fonseka's conviction wasn't a political issue and it couldn't be resolved by protests or intervention by third parties, the paper reported.

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