2/10/2010

Arrest of opposition presidential candidate of Sri Lanka and its repercussions

(February 10, Colombo - Lanka PolitySri Lankans took to streets in Colombo and many other parts of the island and clashed with the government-deployed disruptive elements and police in a display of people's power in support of arrested common opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka. 


The government has arrested Sarath Fonseka and vow to court martial and to be prosecuted in civil courts for breach of discipline and for plotting to topple the government etc. Government spokesmen speak about minor offenses such as engaging with politicians now instead of bringing the much hyped conspiracy allegations. Sri Lanka is lawless mostly and the President's son Yoshitha Rajapaksa, a junior officer of the Navy and the President's brother Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also openly engaged in Mahinda Rajapaksa's presidential campaign enjoying impunity although they too have committed the same offense since they too are bound to be politically neutral as public officials with no rights for politics. 

Meanwhile, former Tamil Tiger rebels who have joined the government are also enjoying impunity for crimes like bombing the sacred Temple of Tooth of the Buddhists, killing Buddhist monks, assassinating surrendered police officers and genocide of Sinhala and Muslim people etc. 

Sarath Fonseka was one time war hero who as the Army Commander led the battles to defeat the Tamil Tiger rebels outrightly that reigned the northern and eastern Tamil dominated parts of the island for decades. He defected from his former commander-in-chief President Mahinda Rajapaksa and challenged his re-election in the presidential held on January 26. However the incumbent swept to power with and unbelievable margin of majority votes. The opposition allege the ruling party rigged polls. Fonseka will fail to take legal action against the presidential timely since he is now in military custody. 
 
Fonseka rose as a brilliant leader in the drowsy opposition during his brief presidential campaign and many doubt the arrest is to suppress his progress as a political leader. Unconfirmed reports say that the government move has the blessing of the present Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe whose lethargic leadership is despised by the radical elements of the opposition. 

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