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CDSL – Canada vehemently condemn stripping General Sarath Fonseka of his rank and medals

PRESS RELEASE: Campaign for democracy in Sri Lanka (CDSL)–Canada

(August 21, Ontario, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is reported that the first Court Martial Tribunal has found former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka guilty of being involved in politics while in uniform. The Tribunal unanimously sentenced to strip of his rank as a general, deny his right to the pension, honours and medals and ultimately discharge dishonourably from the armed services of Sri Lanka. President Mahinda Rajapaksha did not waste any time and quickly ratified the verdict.

The Court Martial Tribunal decided to continue their sittings during a court vacation despite a prior request had been made by General’s lawyers informing them that they would not be able attend during the court vacation. The normal practice is to not to conduct sittings during the court holidays. What was the reason for this urgency?

Considering the number of court cases pending in civilian courts and the remarkable speed that they have been progressing , it is obvious that the Government of Sri Lanka wants to see the demise of General Fonseka as soon as possible and incarcerate him for a long time.

We all may have difference of opinions on General Fonseka, yet as a human being and as a citizen of Sri Lanka he deserves justice and fairness. The punishment, a dishonourable discharge, stripped him of his rank, forfeiting the pension, is extremely disproportionate to the alleged crime that he had committed. High ranking military officials dabbling in politics while still in service is hardly a crime in the current environment in Sri Lanka.

Campaign for democracy in Sri Lanka (CDSL) – Canada vehemently reject and condemn this heinous decision and urge all Sri Lankan citizen and Sri Lankan living in Canada to rally against all form of injustices that are detrimental to a democratic society.

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