I am penning this letter in response to Sisira Fonseka’s open letter in the last edition of your much esteemed newspaper on the subject of mediating on his brother’s behalf mainly for the following reasons:
a) the President of the country or his immediate staff cannot be expected to respond to it for the obvious reason of prioritizing time and resources for every trivial issue,
b) obviously erroneous content in the letter,
c) the so-called international watch-dogs waiting for just any opportunity to destabilise the countries like Sri Lanka,
d) The Sunday Times now widely read both locally and overseas and its increased online access
e) contradictions in relevance of religion as quoted in the text.
The letter to begin with refers to the rivalry that had purportedly developed among “the team members” soon after the end of the war. Almost everyone here in the country came to know through the media, both private and public, that it was Gen. Fonseka who spearheaded the rivalry.
|Sarath Fonseka (left) with elder brother Sisira Fonseka
|Happier times: President Rajapaksa with then Army Commander Sarath Fonseka
For instance, it was he who had engaged in covert and overt politics, while still holding the position of the Chief of Defence Staff in complete contravention of the code of practice applicable even to civilian officers. He had even made a very politically incorrect speech at a Buddhist temple in the USA while still serving as the CDS, causing the Chief Prelate of the temple to intervene to lessen its negative impact.
As we remember, the President in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief tried his very best to pacify him, despite his very arrogant nature by even offering to make him the Secretary to an important Ministry, to which his response was that such responsibilities were foreign to him, having been an Army officer right through his career. In other words, he admitted at the beginning itself that he was far from being presidential material to rule a democratic country.
Perhaps, he was aiming for something else.It is also wrong for the writer to call his brother the main architect of the war victory for the simple reason that he was only the Commander of the Army, when the actual battle was fought together with other stakeholders including the Navy and the Air Force without whose contributions it would have been impossible to achieve the victory.
We mustn’t forget that the country was in fact dealing with the world’s most powerful terror outfit having its own merchant navy for bringing in all its munitions. Besides, this statement only tries to undermine the credibility of the University of Colombo, which awarded honorary doctorates to the President and the Defence Secretary for ending the 30-year old terrorist menace.
Finally in my own opinion, it is Gen. Fonseka’s uncontrollable craving, quoted by the writer as a leading cause for sorrow, for power and material benefits that led to his downfall.
We should not at the same time forget that he was arrested by the Sri Lankan Army and not the usual law enforcement authorities for contravening the provisions of its own Army Act.