Govt won't restore SF's civic rights
By SUPUN DIAS
May 25, 2012
The government said that Mr. Fonseka lost his ranks following a Court Martial ruling.
Cabinet spokesman, acting Media and Information Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana at the weekly cabinet briefing at the Information Department auditorium yesterday said President Mahinda Rajapaksa gave Mr. Fonseka a Presidential Pardon’ on ‘sympathetic grounds’ and he had no intention of intervening in the verdict delivered by the military tribunal.
The act of President Rajapaksa shows that he has no malice or grudge against anyone. There was no direct request from family members of Mr. Fonseka to release him. But, DNA Parliamentarian Tiran Alles acted on behalf of the Fonseka family and his shuttle service conveyed the sentiments of both parties to each other, he said. Minister Abeywardana said
If he was restored in the post of General and other military decorations and given the pension with back wages what would be the position of 7,500 odd military personnel convicted during his time by various military tribunals and deprived them of all such facilities?
President Rajapaksa has pardoned many others in the past including Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayaka but all of them had been convicted under the normal judicial procedure.
“Mr. Fonseka’s case is in different category. He has been convicted by a military tribunal specially constituted by the Commander in Chief. If he was restored in the post of General and other military decorations and given the pension with back wages what would be the position of 7,500 odd military personnel convicted during his time by various military tribunals and deprived them of all such facilities?” Minister Abeywardana asked.
President Rajapaksa pardoned Mr. Fonseka after he withdrew two appeals that had been filed against his convictions.
Commenting on certain remarks Mr. Fonseka had reportedly made on alleged war crimes and human rights violations, Minister Abeywardana said the government did not know about the agenda of Mr. Fonseka.
“He was overseas for 10 days towards the tail end of the ‘Humanitarian Operation’. If he says that there were large scale civilian casualties at the end of the war and he is ready to face any probe on that issue it creates a hidden perception that there had been war crimes and he is not responsible for any of them as he was away from the war theatre. In other words it is obvious that Commander in Chief, Defence Secretary, Armed Forces Commanders and commanders in the front line are responsible for these so called atrocities. I do not know about Mr. Fonseka’s agenda. However, if he hints that there were war crimes it is treachery to the extreme,” Minister Abeywardana stressed.
Minister Abeywardana said it is not necessary to go before international war tribunals and prove Sri Lanka’s innocence as Sri Lanka has not done any wrong.
Commenting on possible impact on the local political scene by Mr. Fonseka, Minister Abeywardana said the euphoria will fade away in a few weeks. It is unlikely that there would be any effect on the UPFA vote base following his involvement in politics.
“We do not know when the light of the lamp would blow out or turn which side. What I can say is that there will be no any impact on the UPFA from his politics,” Minister Abeywardana added.
On alleged forming of a new party by Mr. Fonseka, Minister Abeywardana said there are several dozens of political parties in the country and if registered his party will also be one of them.
Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka