Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, has endorsed the recommendation of the first Court Martial against General (retired) Sarath Fonseka to cashier the former Army chief from the military.

The Court Martial, constituted by Mr. Rajapaksa, had on Friday sentenced General (retired) Fonseka to dishonourable discharge from the Army after convicting him for being traitorous, using disloyal words and neglecting to obey garrison or other orders.

General (retired) Fonseka, who contested unsuccessfully against Mr. Rajapaksa as the common opposition candidate in the January presidential election, has been under the detention of the military since February on several charges, including attempt to destabilise the government.

Within days of his arrest, Mr. Rajapaksa had constituted two Courts Martial to probe charges against him.

The first Court Martial examined cases relating to his alleged involvement in political work while in active service. A second Court Martial proceeding is on in which he is being tried on charges of making military purchases in contravention of procedures.

The Courts Martial proceedings are the first ever against an officer of the highest rank in the history of the Army. General (retired) Fonseka had successfully led the Army in the war against the LTTE and was elevated as the first four star General.

Local media reports quoted the wife of the former Army Chief, Anoma Fonseka, as saying her husband had not accepted the ruling. She quoted General (retired) Fonseka as saying the decision was handed over by lower ranking military officials to a four star General, which was unacceptable and a “humorous joke”.

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