[General Sarath Fonseka]
According to the information we have, even before Election Day the Army Commander, under the instructions of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Chief of Defence Staff, had planned something fishy. They got down some 2000 extra troops to Colombo and planned to deploy them in Colombo. This was not carried out under instructions or due to a request made by the IGP or the Elections Commissioner. That means it was definitely done in violation of the law and order in the country. It was a secret, unwanted deployment and the masterminds of the plan had even gone to the lengths of appointing specific officials to specially handle this task.
We heard that if the election results were not going to be in favour of Mahinda Rajapaksa, their plan was to implement the same kind of action, which they did in 2010 that involved detaining the EC and changing the results. This time we heard that even at the very final moments, in the middle of the night, they had been scheming on how to remain in power for two more years without announcing the results.
From the Chinese point of view, it is eventually that they would want to keep some hold in Sri Lanka and control certain aspects in this country because they have invested so much money in this country. Whatever it is, if the Chinese submarines dock in Sri Lanka it would definitely ruffle the feathers of the Indian authorities and they would not agree with it
The former regime’s attempts are made clear from the irregular army deployment, which was definitely not done in the interest of the country’s security. Military deployment in that manner during an election day is unnecessary. This is indicative of a definite attempt to stage a coup but finally, since the results were going against them and due to the warnings issued by the international community to refrain from tampering with the results, they took a step back.
The army was in Colombo even for the next two days until the Army Commander was informed to pull them out of Colombo. CBK informed Secretary of Defence to pull the troops out. So obviously it was a conspiracy and nothing else and it was only prevented due to pressures by various quarters that they could not ignore. The Army Commander started feeling jittery and the IGP and the AG too had stood against the plan so the former President had no choice but to disagree.
The Army commander was definitely responsible for the secret deployment of troops. He can’t wash his hands off now. He and the Chief of Defence Staff have to take responsibility for that because they acted in violation of the election law. If you have tried to use the military against the election law, without the consent of the EC, you have definitely planned a military coup. Unlawful military deployment is a military coup.
They did not move additional troops to the Northern province but had given certain instructions to obstruct the voting process. They changed the security forces commander in the North before the election and had made plans together with some intelligence officers. We have the details and we shall reveal them at an inquiry in the near future. Together with the intelligence officers they were planning to intimidate the Tamil voters and prevent them from voting.
[Excerpts form an longer interview published in the Daily Mirror]