By Muheed Jeeran –
One of the matters which concern the international community when it’s come to Sri Lanka’s affair is about the imprisonment of Former Army Chief and the presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka. As for the international community’s view, it clearly shows that the current regime taking an immense political revenge on him and the international community clearly accepted the former army chief as a political prisoner.
This government tried to play a very well calculated game by not to revealing any any international pressure put forwarded by the international community to release General Fonseka. However they are trying to show to their own countrymen that they are having a genuine interest to considering his release. Anyhow the pressure from locally and internationally cannot be prevented and they will be getting more and more in the future if they are not willing release the former army chief without any condition.
It was a well known fact that the former Army Chief was celebrated as a war hero and indeed this government’s senior members have boasted has he was the best army commander in the world after the Former Indian Defence Secretary M.K. Narayan made the comment that Sarath Fonseka is the best commander in the World. However after he challenged his former commander in chief at the presidential election and this government has twisted entire things with in a very short period. They have already stripped off his military rank, medals and even stopped his pension benefits by tried under first court martial. They held guilty of corruption charges in defense deals by a second court martial, sentenced to a prison term of three years. However General Fonseka was always categorically denied that allegations. Former British Defense Secretary Liam Fox who always having very close and cordial relationship with this regime was urged this government that General Sarath Fonseka should be tried in a civil court where transparency will be paramount. He further stated that Transparency will enable both the domestic population and the international community to have confidence in the judicial process. However they still tried his case under court martial without public witness and he was denied to have a free and fair trial.
If the government defends their decision to tried Fonseka about corrupt deals which they believe Former Army Chief violated the tender procedures. Then why this regime is not so quick enough to try any culprits who have been reported in the COPE Committee Report? COPE investigation report contains about 40 government departments have done corruptions and this committee was chaired by the senior government minister DEW Gunasekara.
Now there are so many media speculation in Sri Lanka about a possible release of Fonseka throughout local Medias but the Sri Lanka’s Medias not properly investigate the reason for this government’s interest to release the former army chief. It was mainly on international pressure and US was taken very serious along with United Kingdom about this regime’s treatment against General Fonseka. According direct sources US State Department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office discussed regularly about Fonseka issue. It was believed that the US sets as a top priority to release Fonseka as they have clearly accepted him as a political prisoner. Very recently, I was told by an upcoming rising star at the Indian External Affairs Ministry has inquired about Fonseka’s matter with the Sri Lankan High Commissioner and Deputy High Commissioner.
Now Sri Lanka already sent a team lead by Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister G L Peries to the United States to have discussions with the US State Department about various issues relating to Sri Lanka. According to direct sources without any doubt US will put pressure for Fonseka’s release is 100% guaranteed during the meeting with the Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister G L Peries and his team. Therefore if any surprise move by this government about Fonseka’s matter can be highly expected at the moment.
Muheed Jeeran is an International Political Lobbyist and a Campaign Strategist.