Sri Lanka Brief
NewsFormer Army Chief to Enter Parliament on UNP National List

Former Army Chief to Enter Parliament on UNP National List


Former Army Chief, Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka will be sworn in as a Member of Parliament on 9 February, on the United National Party list, Daily FT learns from authoritative Government sources.

Fonseka will take the UNP’s national list parliamentary seat made vacant by the sudden demise of Minister M. K. D. S. Gunewardane earlier this month.

The 65-year old Fonseka contested the 2015 Parliamentary election in August last year under his Democratic Party, but the political group failed to win a single seat in the 225 seat Legislature, failing to poll over the 5% threshold

Sources said negotiations between the UNP and Fonseka had been successful, despite the policy decision previously made by the party to refrain from granting national list seats to candidates that had been defeated in the parliamentary poll.

Field Marshall Fonseka, led the military campaign that defeated the LTTE in May 2009, but was stripped of his military rank and honours after he was tried and convicted in November 2011 for conspiring to overthrow the Rajapaksa regime. The controversial trial took place after Fonseka contested former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the presidency in January 2010.

Following President Maithripala Sirisena’s victory in the 2015 presidential poll, Fonseka’s military privileges, pension and ranks were restored, and he was promoted to the rank of field marshall, the highest military rank any soldier in Sri Lanka has ever held. (DB)

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