Ex-Army Chief Sarath Fonseka Released
Ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka was released from prison last night after he was jailed initially on a court martial verdict on a charge of corruption relating to military procurements for 30 months in September 2010.
Again in November 2011, General Fonseka was sentenced to three more years in jail for alleging that Tiger rebels who surrendered had been killed on the orders of the president's brother, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse.
However, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse on Friday ordered an official pardon for General Fonseka, 61, who was discharged from hospital back to jail after two weeks of treatment for a respiratory ailment.
Anyhow, the Government has not said why it freed Fonseka, but his Democratic National Alliance party has said it was negotiating for his release from prison for five months.
General Fonseka was regarded by Washington as a political prisoner and US officials had repeatedly called for him to be released.
After his release, whilst speaking in the midst of his supporters to thousands of supporters as he emerged from Welikada prison in Colombo, after receiving a pardon ordered last week by President Mahinda Rajapakse former Army Cief said, "I am free. I will devote my life for my people."
"I will not betray the people who stood behind me. I will save the country. The people will correct the injustice caused to me . . . I was a victim of a vendetta," he said, referring to his incarceration of more than two years.
Thousands gathered outside the prison to greet the general as he emerged wearing white national dress, and carrying a loud-hailer to address them.
- Asian Tribune -