This refers to the editorial, “Set General Fonseka free” (Feb.10). Though the General’s accusations — in both pre- and post-election scenarios — against President Mahinda Rajapaksa were false and not too simple to be ignored, they do not warrant his arrest and court martial. This has unwittingly given an opportunity to the dismantled and demoralised opposition now to regroup and rejuvenate itself. The need of the hour is not political vendetta or politicisation of the military, but ensuring normalcy and development of all regions in the island nation.
The Sri Lankan President seems to have committed a serious error in his apparently vindictive actions against the General. The latter had after all successfully led the crusade against one of the toughest of guerrilla cadres and brought peace and normalcy to the strife-torn region. Having assured himself of the President’s chair through the elections, Mr. Rajapaksa will not gain anything by such petty, vindictive politics. On the contrary, it would only damage his public image.
Varsha S. Shenoy,
The lack of transparency in the trial of Gen. Fonseka could well provide grist to rumour mills. Mr. Rajapaksa cannot ignore the fact that despite the opposition being poorly organised, the General managed to garner nearly 40 per cent of the total votes in the recent presidential elections. Unless the administration is careful, its hunt for the ‘enemy’ could end up rallying international opinion against the government.
Your editorial was balanced and deep in analysis. The arrest has not only sent shock waves through the length and breadth of Sri Lanka but also shocked the lovers of democracy as a whole, and has rightly evoked strong condemnation across the globe. It is time for Mr. Rajapaksa, who is in “an extremely strong position following his presidential election” to “treat Mr. Fonseka’s outburst against him as acts of political folly born out of failure and frustration” and not be responsible for triggering another civil war on the island. What are urgently needed in the post-LTTE era are normalcy, reconciliation, and a just political solution to the Tamil question, and not political vendetta and further politicisation of the army.
For one thing, the abrasive statements of the General are not in the least edifying and for another, his pre and post-electoral prevarications are unbecoming of the post he held before plunging into poll arena. By the same token, the response of Mr. Rajapaksa to these overt provocations does not stand him in good stead as a person of moderation. The furtive manner in which the General was whisked away has prompted his spouse to come out with her own tale of misgivings, and it does not augur well for the fair name of the government. Unless there is a grave threat to the security of the island nation, there is no need to hold the General in detention.