Former General Sarath Fonseka, divisive civil war figure, bids for Sri Lankan presidency

The former chief of the Sri Lankan General Staff and retired general Sarath Fonseka has offered this Friday to occupy the Presidency of the country if he receives the support of the parliamentary majority, according to a press conference this Friday the ex-military, about whom NGOs such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch have called for a thorough investigation for alleged war crimes during the war against the Tamil insurgency more than a decade ago.

Fonseka, once also a presidential candidate, has declared himself “ready to assume the Presidency” if he is “invited by the majority of the members of Parliament” with the “agreement” of the country’s main opposition alliance, United People’s Union (Samagi Jana Balawega or SJB).

As he did during his first presidential bid, Fonseka has alluded to his war “merits”, and has declared that he will not hesitate to “accept the challenges” facing the country, according to statements reported by the Ceylonese news portal Buzzer.

Read:  covid-19 indicators continue to fall in Spain after Christmas

Human Rights NGOs denounce massacres committed both by the military under Fonseka’s orders and by the Tamil rebels during the last months of the civil war, specifically in April 2009, during a bombing campaign on rebel strongholds crowded with civilians who were used as human shields by the Tamils, and which left thousands of people dead, including women and children.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have described these allegations as “credible” and demanded an investigation into the matter while the retired general has denied the accusations of systematic violence and blamed the atrocities on “ad hoc elements,” as well as offering to cooperate with the authorities.

The retired general ended up running in the January 2010 presidential elections, taking advantage of the credit among the population gained during the conflict, only to end up arrested was arrested in February 2010, accused of diverting funds in the course of his campaign.

Read:  Glossary for understanding developments in HIV and AIDS

The former general denounced that he had been the victim of a conspiracy orchestrated by then President Mahinda Rajapaksa in yet another maneuver by that family clan to cling to power.

Fonseka now returns in a different scenario marked by the devastating economic crisis that culminated in last week’s popular uprising and that ended up putting on the run the then head of state and brother of Mahinda, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, as well as Mahinda himself, reconverted to prime minister, a position from which he was dismissed by the president during the first weeks of the protests.

The Best Online Bookmakers May 24 2024

BetMGM Casino