The fact that the attorney general appointed by the president keeps on filing case after case against Sarath Fonseka clearly indicates the intension to tighten the grip around Sarath Fonseka to push him towards this proposed point of surrender.
l by Thrishantha Nanayakkara
(December 10, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Former presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka was sentenced for three more years of rigorous imprisonment by a divided ruling in the high court. Perhaps the fact that the main witness was a media person with a natural motive to ignite a public debate on sensitive and speculative issues and Sarath Fonseka’s famous white flag statement itself was also based on what some media personal told him may have caused this divided ruling. The natural question then would have been to assess the credibility of these media personal. Somehow, I hope this time the high court kept the notes of the hearing that could be re-examined in a court of appeal, unlike the previous military court. Just to remind the reader, the offence examined at the military court was “doing politics while in uniform”. To compound the suspicion that it was a politically motivated judgement, there was no military court to question as to why president Rajapaksa’s son in the Navy actively participated in political campaigns during his father’s candidacy to the president.
Now imagine what you would have done if this happened to your own father who had a political vision worth protecting from his opponents. You have two options. First is to go and kneel down in front of the president and beg for pardon, which of course involves surrendering your father’s political vision to the president. Some government media personal had suggested this to be the choice. The fact that the attorney general appointed by the president keeps on filing case after case against Sarath Fonseka clearly indicates the intension to tighten the grip around Sarath Fonseka to push him towards this proposed point of surrender.
However, if you feel that there have been a purposeful abuse of law to bring your father who has been a political challenge to the president, to that point of surrender, would you be prepared to push him to the very trap he does not want to fall into as a respectable leader? This is the choice Apsara Fonseka has taken by initiating a petition to show how much public opinion is there in favor of the second choice – to demand for an unconditional release of her father. This is not the first attempt taken by Apsara Fonseka and her mother Anoma Fonseka along their second choice. They organised numerous other campaigns to directly demand president Rajapaksa to release Sarath Fonseka unconditionally in the past. President Rajapaksa refused to respond to that approach clearly indicating that his preferred choice is the first one.
Why should the difference between these two choices be important? It is not important to those who bow down to the political kingships. But the difference matters to any future leader who is not prepared to surrender his or her aspiration to change the status quo to a people friendly one where rule of law and justice are strong. Leaders of some opposition parties are too busy attending to more urgent matters to save their own chairs. Expect little from them. Whatever you choose to do now will have broader implications on a future leader who may make the lives of the next generation better.
What is your choice? A group of fellow citizens say “time has come to respond”