Jailed former Sri Lankan war hero, Sarath Fonseka, should appeal to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and not to the White House, presidential spokesman Bandula Jayasekara has said.

In a statement to The Hindu, he said: “We have read in the newspapers that Ms. Anoma Fonseka [Fonseka's wife] and her daughters are preparing a petition to be sent to the White House, residency and the office of the President of the United States of America. In her letter Ms. Apsara Fonseka [Fonseka's daughter] goes on to say “We are in need of international interference when it comes to justice…”

“What Ms. Fonseka could do is to make a direct appeal to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka, who may consider Ms. Fonseka's appeal sympathetically. It does not cost much to visit Temple Trees in Colombo 3, unlike the United States of America which is thousands of miles away. Ms. Fonseka should not follow the practice of the leader of the opposition and run to foreign governments and countries. President Mahinda Rajapaksa could be described as the most accessible head of state in the world”.

“It should not be forgotten that, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on humanitarian grounds, granted permission to Mr. Sarath Fonseka, to attend the funeral of his niece, when the normal practice is that people serving prison sentences are allowed only to attend the funerals of their immediate family members.

“When President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in prison [as a Member of Parliament then] he was not allowed to visit his ailing mother. When his mother passed away the then government did not allow him to attend his mother's funeral. He attended his mother's funeral with prison officials, only with the approval of the judge.”

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