The approval of the Ministry of Defence will be required to enable retired General Sarath Fonseka to take his oaths in Parliament as an MP, the military spokesman said yesterday.
"So far no request for such approval has been made," Major General Prasad Samarasinghe told the Sunday Times. He said there has been no communication so far from the Secretary General of Parliament to the Ministry of Defence.
Retired General Fonseka is now being detained at an annexe at the Navy Headquarters. He faces two different General Courts Martial over allegations of conspiracy and fraudulent activity in military procurements.
At April 8 parliamentary elections, Gen. (retd.) Fonseka was elected as a Democratic National Alliance (DNA) MP from the Colombo district. He received more than 90,000 votes and his name has been gazetted by the Commissioner of Elections as a Member of Parliament.
Dhanmmika Kitulgoda, Secretary General of Parliament, told the Sunday Times he had so far not received any request to make arrangements for General Fonseka to be present in Parliament on April 22. "I have not received anything so far and I have not given thought to it," he said.
However, Democratic National Alliance spokesperson and former MP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake told the Sunday Times his party had sent out two separate letters. He said one was sent to the Secretary General of Parliament urging him to make arrangements for General (retd.) Fonseka to take his oaths on Thursday. The other letter has been sent to the Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya asking him to make arrangement to enable the retired General to go to Parliament.
Mr. Dissanayake revealed that General (retd.) Fonseka proposed to make a statement on the floor of the house on Thursday. Though the Parliament has made an official call for MPs elected last Thursday to call over and register themselves, no arrangements have been made so far for General Fonseka, he said.
The first session of Parliament on Thursday will elect a new Speaker after which MPs will take their oath of affirmation. President Mahinda Rajapaksa will address the session thereafter. Meanwhile President Rajapaksa will address all MPs of the UPFA at the Presidential Secretariat today. Thereafter he will entertain them for lunch.