26 August, 2019

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WikiLeaks: Attorney General Declined To Guarantee Fonseka’s "Life"

By Colombo Telegraph –

“Attorney General declined to include the word ‘life’ preferring ‘well-being’ as ‘no one can predict tomorrow’” the US Ambassador wrote to Washington.

A leaked US diplomatic cable records the Supreme Court decision on General Fonseka’s Fundamental Rights petition re his unlawful detention. The Colombo Telegraph found the cable from WikiLeaks database. The cable written on February 24, 2010 and classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” by the Deputy Chief of Mission Valerie Fowler.

The US Ambassador to Colombo Patricia A. Butenis wrote “Fonseka’s case drew great attention. The courtroom was packed, and his wife was met by swarms of media upon her exit from the courthouse. The denial of relief was not surprising, but the improvements in access to Fonseka, if actually granted, are important steps. The court’s reasoning put Fonseka in a Catch – 22: without formal charges against him, he cannot claim that there is no reason to detain him”

Sarath Fonseka is seen here in the centre of this photo carrying a bucket inside the Welikada Prison

“As recorded by the court, the parties agreed that upon request by Fonseka’s counsel, the Attorney General would ‘give appropriate direction to the authorities’ on 1) protection of Fonseka’s well-being, safety, and security’ (NOTE: The Attorney General declined to include the word “life” preferring “well-being” as “no one can predict tomorrow” END NOTE.); 2) reasonable access to Fonseka by his immediate family, to include children, grandchildren, and in-laws (in addition to his wife, who already has access); and 3) access to Fonseka by ‘indentified lawyers.’ Fonseka’s counsel also requested reasonable unimpeded access to Fonseka by medical personnel. The Attorney agreed to medical access during argument, but it was unclear whether this point was entered into the court’s final record” the Ambassador Butenis further wrote.

Related news WikiLeaks: Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake is a Rajapaksa loyalist

See the full cable for further details;

VZCZCXRO1439
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHLM #0132/01 0550154
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 240154Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1354
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 2443
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 9460
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 7715
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 5453
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 3882
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 0039
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0239
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 0855
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 4502
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 0021
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 7255
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0234
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0146
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 000132

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM PTER EAID MOPS CE
SUBJECT: FONSEKA CATCH-22: SUPREME COURT RULES NO RELEASE
WITHOUT CHARGES

COLOMBO 00000132  001.2 OF 002

Classified By: DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION VALERIE C. FOWLER.  REASONS: 1.4
 (B, D)

1. (C) SUMMARY:  At a Fundamental Rights hearing on February
23, the Supreme Court denied General Fonseka release as
interim relief because his claim that there was no reason to
detain him could not be verified until the investigation was
completed and, presumably, charges were filed.  At the same
time, however, the court authorized protection of Fonseka's
security, greater access by his family, access by his
attorneys, and possibly access by his physicians.  The next
hearing was scheduled for April 26, 2010.  Embassy PolOff
attended the hearing.  END SUMMARY.

RELIEF DENIED
-------------

2. (SBU) On February 23, the Sri Lankan Supreme Court denied
former presidential candidate General Fonseka's petition for
release as interim relief in his fundamental rights case
challenging the legality of his detention.  The court ruled
that because the basis of the submission for interim relief
was "linked" to the final relief requested, the court was
"not in a position" to grant the interim relief.  (NOTE: The
court was presided over by Acting Chief Justice Shirani
Bandaranyake, considered a Rajapaksa loyalist.  Several days
ago, the president made a show of appointing her in place of
Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, who was thought to be more
sympathetic to the case but is traveling abroad.  END NOTE.)
Fonseka was not present at the hearing and his attorney had
not had access to him.  The next hearing was set for April
26, 2010, after the parliamentary elections.

3. (SBU) The court adopted the Attorney General's argument
that Fonseka's claim that there was no reason to detain him
could not be verified until the investigation had been
completed.  While no charges have been filed against Fonseka,
areas of investigation mentioned by the Attorney General
included the alleged 400 army "deserters" at the hotel with
Fonseka during election day, Fonseka's statement that he
would release "top secret" information on the final stages of
the war, and the Hi-Corp military procurement corruption case
involving his son-in-law.

...BUT ACCESS FOR FAMILY, LAWYERS EXPANDED
------------------------------------------

4. (SBU) As recorded by the court, the parties agreed that
upon request by Fonseka's counsel, the Attorney General would
"give appropriate direction to the authorities" on 1)
protection of Fonseka's "well-being, safety, and security"
(NOTE: The Attorney General declined to include the word
"life," preferring  "well-being" as "no one can predict
tomorrow."  END NOTE.); 2) reasonable access to Fonseka by
his immediate family, to include children, grandchildren, and
in-laws (in addition to his wife, who already has access);
and 3) access to Fonseka by "identified lawyers."  Fonseka's
counsel also requested reasonable unimpeded access to Fonseka
by medical personnel.  The Attorney General agreed to medical
access during argument, but it was unclear whether this point
was entered into the court's final record.

COMMENT
-------

5. (C) Fonseka's case drew great attention.  The courtroom
was packed, and his wife was met by swarms of media upon her
exit from the courthouse.  The denial of relief was not
surprising, but the improvements in access to Fonseka, if
actually granted, are important steps.  The court's reasoning

COLOMBO 00000132  002.2 OF 002

put Fonseka in a Catch-22: without formal charges against
him, he cannot claim that there is no reason to detain him.
BUTENIS
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    If Prabakaran was alive, he only had to join the Govt. and share his wealth with ????, he could have been a important Minister in the Cabinet, with every luxury in life he could imagine of. The real hero is in jail. This is the corrupt family rule destroying our Country.

    • 0
      0

      Yes, well said BF :) :) :) :) :)

    • 0
      0

      Fonseka commited errors anyway.According to military law he should not talk about military operations but clearly he broke it by betraying army.During the election time he was keeping army deserters as his body guards which is a punishable crime in any country.Who harbours or keep army deserters breaks the law hence punishable with prison sentences.He knew it very well and also dealt in politics with his uniform on.He gave excessive punishments to soldiers for minor offenses and the whole army knows that.With his son in law forming a company he imported a lot of arms getting millions of dollars as commission.When General Richard Udugama was arrested for a coup against the UNP government with Monk Heapitagethara Gnanaseeha himi he was given a 6 by 6 feet prison cell and not allowed to bring food from outside.He was 4 years there just to release without charging and Sarath Fonseka is having a separate apartment with the facilities much more than General Udugama got eventhough Udugama was the Army Commander at the time of arrest.

      • 0
        0

        ashok,you seems to be very interligent ! could you write some ideas about KP,Pilliayan,karuna,duminda,mervyn and S.A.B. ( sukara asuchi bakshaka ) Gotha baya please. if you know the death of late. Maj.Gen.Janaka Perera , please write about that also.

  • 0
    0

    They will kill him, the great General. that’s why he declined to grantee his LIFE. CONDOM THEORY

  • 0
    0

    SF is a war criminal, one should understand it first. that’s why Brothers put him in jail.

    • 0
      0

      Well said Keerthi. It takes some people without brains a long time to see that any man who betrays his country is not a criminal only he is a TRAITOR.

    • 0
      0

      Which side of mouth you used to talk

    • 0
      0

      so,how the hell people like KP.Pllaian. and Karuna is free ? our president was charge in courts for double murder and rob sunami money.Sarath n sylva help him to escape the charges . read more and write less !

  • 0
    0

    Well being is a better term. A man can have a life as a vegetable but his well being is a different level of care being used to keep him well and healthy. The Americans including their last President Bush have not been the best at the English language. After all they do not need to be very educated to graduate from the “Ivy League Schools” if their parents can but their way through school and university. Bush had a very low IQ like this idiotic Ambassador of his. No wonder the Iraqis and the Afghanis are kicking their backsides daily requiring then to quit before their goals are achieved in either country.

  • 0
    0

    SL GOV is showing there fear on SF from every angle. There are really afraid to him. They knew he is true soldier and keep his words. So they are afraid even to his shadow. People should understand this. Think wisely, why they keep lion in cage? Because they are chicken.

  • 0
    0

    Uneducated uncultured bastards ;)

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