A fruitless meeting
With the Presidential Elections becoming the hottest topic in town,
reports flowing from the United National Party (UNP) say that the
Opposition's common candidate, General (Rtd.) Sarath Fonseka recently
met Iqbal Athas, Defence Analyst of the Sunday Times and requested his
assistance for the Presidential Election campaign.
While Gen. Fonseka was serving as Army Commander he had described
Athas as a LTTE informant. Athas, during the recent meeting is reported
to have said that if Fonseka is willing to publicly withdraw this
statement he could consider extending his support. Fonseka had not given
a positive response. He had stated that most of the actions taken to
threaten journalists were plans of the Defence Secretary and he had no
However, at a subsequent media conference held for the electronic
media, Gen. (Rtd) Fonseka has stated that if anyone accuses Army
personnel of involvement in harassing journalists it amounts to
betraying the Sri Lanka Army.
"It is not surprising if Gen. (Rtd) Fonseka asked for support from
Athas as he has already sought the support of the UNP, a party which
always undermined the efforts of the Army Commander in the past," said
Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella speaking to the 'Sunday
Minister Rambukwella also said it is thus not surprising that Gen. (Rtd)
Fonseka can stand in line side by side with politicians like Mangala
Samaraweera, who had at one time stated that Gen. Fonseka as Army
Commander was not fit even to lead the Salvation Army.