The JVP demanded that the government reveal the list of ministers who influenced the President to arrest former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake alleged that the President had claimed that it was due to the influence of certain ministers’ that Sarath Fonseka was brought before Court.
“While the President had made this claim, the state media had embarked on a campaign to make it look as if Fonseka was abducted and detained by a certain party and the President had intervened to release him. As far as we know the whole process of the arrest and imprisonment of Fonseka was carried out with the awareness of the President. If it is otherwise the President should reveal the list of ministers who influenced him to authorize the arrest of Fonseka” said Dissanayke.
Commenting on the release of Fonseka, Dissanayake said that the JVP did not see how Fonseka’s release alone would help the country to move towards democracy. He said that while the JVP believed that Fonseka’s release alone was not a stable and a long-term step to improve democracy, the government should do a lot more to democratize the country.
“We believe that the government decided to free Fonseka to direct the public’s attention away from the recent protests leveled at the government. The people have started to voice their frustrations against the government. The rising cost of living and lack of good governance has angered the people and the government has used Fonseka’s release as a tactic to divert the attention of the public. The government has to establish media freedom, allow the state sector workers to function without political influence, establish civil administration in the North and democratize public institutions to show that Sri Lanka is a functioning democracy. Fonseka’s release alone will not guarantee democracy in Sri Lanka” he said.
Speaking further Dissanayake said that former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka should be given back all his civil and political rights with his release. He noted that the government should withdraw all cases which have been filed against Fonseka, similar to the way in which the government has been able to withdraw cases filed against people like Abdul Cader and Chandana Kathriarachchi.
“The JVP believes that the parliamentary seat which fell vacant when Fonseka was imprisoned belonged solely to the Democratic National Alliance (DNA). Next in line for the seat was a JVP member, Lakshman Nipunaarachchi, but he tendered his resignation to the elections commissioner because the JVP believed that the seat belonged to the DNA” he said.
He noted that Fonseka and the JVP might work together on certain political issues, but added that it has to be decided only after discussions.
“Fonseka contested for the 2010 presidential elections to abolish the executive presidency. The JVP supported him because of this. The JVP is engaged in politics to destroy capitalism. But Fonseka’s political thoughts and ideologies might be different. We might work together on some issues, but Fonseka is the one who should decide what his political future should be” he said.
Meanwhile, Dissanayake noted that the discussions carried out with the President to free Fonseka took place without the involvement of the JVP, but added his release is a victory to all those who campaigned for his release.
“It is not only the JVP, but many political parties, civil rights groups and even religious leaders came forward to free Fonseka and it is a victory for all of them” he said.
By Sarasi Paranamanna