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'I want to serve people of Sri Lanka'

(November 13, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lanka's hero in the war against LTTE, General Sarath Fonseka resigned from his post as Chief of Armed Forces on Thursday (November 12), bringing to end weeks of speculation that he had decided to shed uniform and join politics. Speaking to an Indian based Television Chennel, Gen Fonseka said that while he has not yet decided what to do post-retirement and he also does not rule out entering politics.

He said, "Yes, I have handed my resignation. I am not supposed to tell outsiders , but I have stated some reasons to why I don't want to continue anymore. I have not said that I want to enter politics, but after my retirement, when I am not in uniform, I will decide which direction to proceed in. Once I am out of the uniform I will decide how to serve the people."

His retirement within six months of leading the Lankan armed forces to victory against the LTTE could lead to Fonseka emerging as the opposition's Presidential candidate against incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa in which event Rajapaksa's chances of winning elections on the basis of success against LTTE could be affected.

Soon after the civil war ended in May, Fonseka, who was the army chief, was promoted as chief of defence staff, which is a largely ceremonial post. Sri Lanka is set for parliamentary and presidential polls before April 2010. Media reports here had been suggesting over the last week that Fonseka has emerged as the consensus presidential candidate of an alliance of opposition parties.

Senior opposition leader Lakshman Kiriella said that it is an "ideal time" for Fonseka to join the opposition forces. "It is just a beginning for Fonseka and politics is a long journey. He should join the opposition forces and work together," the leader from former premier Ranil Wickremasinghe's United National Party said.

Asked whether the UNP will give presidential nomination to Fonseka, Kiriella only said "things will be sorted out in a very satisfactory way." "UNP is a party that belongs to all communities. Once you enter politics, you have to work with others collectively. Therefore, it is an ideal time for Fonseka to join the opposition forces for ushering in peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka," he said.

The government had said it will advance the presidential election, a move apparently aimed at taking advantage of the strong public support after the defeat of the LTTE. The UNF, led by UNP, joined in alliance with the minority Tamil and Muslim parties to challenge Rajapaksa.
-Sri Lanka Guardian

1 comment

kahagalle said...

The so called war hero to join the jokers who slandered him during difficult times?? This must be a story to be told in the coming months. The General who was unfit to lead even Salvation Army, who conquered a jungle strip in Thoppigala what is big about that. He probably would have gone to Pamankada when Gotabhaya wanted him to be in Ali-mankada or would have ended up on Medawachchiya instead of Killinochchiya. Perhaps Fonseka’s this move has more desperate USA, UK, Germany and French support than people in Sri Lanka.

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