12/04/2009

Fonseka in India, triggering speculation


(P.K.Balachandran, Express Buzz. December 04)

The joint opposition candidate in the Sri Lankan Presidential election, Gen.Sarath Fonseka, is currently in India on a short visit.

Informed sources told Express that the General turned politician was on a religious pilgrimage. He reportedly went to Mumbai and might perhaps go to Bodh Gaya in Bihar..

As to whether he would make a dash to New Delhi for a pow wow with the Indian leaders is not known. He had however made a request to the Indian High Commissioner Ashok K.Kantha, for arrangements to meet Indian leaders in New Delhi.According to reports, Fonseka is expected back in the island on Friday. 

Importance of India to Fonseka 

Fonseka has been showing a tendency to reach out to India in many ways. His remarks that he was very close to the Indian military and that he loved everything Indian, were meant to curry favour with India, a country which the Sri Lankan opposition believes is tilted towards the Rajapaksas.

It is known that India has reservations about him given his extremist majoritarian (Sinhalese) nationalist views. But since becoming a candidate he has been singing a totally different tune, which must intriguiing New Delhi as much as it does people here in Sri Lanka.

An UNP source said that Fonseka was so worried about the denial of adequate security to him by the Rajapaksa government that he had gone to consult the Indian authorities on the security that he ought to have.

Fonseka was reportedly disturbed by the Attorney General’s uncompromising attitude in the Supreme Court when his petition on inadequate security came up for hearing. He was mollified only when the court set an early date for the Attorney General to come up with a formal assessment of the security requirement.

As for the Indian leaders, they would certainly like to open a line of communication with a top- of- the- line Presidential candidate put up by a major political party like United National Party (UNP). They would also like to hear him first hand on the devolution of power to the Tamils ,whether he was serious about his statement made in Sinhalese, that he was prepared to go beyond the Indian-inspired 13 th amendment in this regard, and whether he would indeed abolish the Excutive Presidency.    

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