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Sunday, 2 February 2014

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Political fantasies and strange bedfellows

Democratic Party leader, Sarath Fonseka has put his foot in his mouth again by giving a character certificate to the late LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Fonseka has done so in his lust for power to woo the support of Tiger sympathisers at the forthcoming Western and Southern Provincial Council elections. Fonseka is acutely aware that there is a significant Tamil vote base in Colombo and feels he could exploit it by glorifying a megalomaniac terrorist leader such as Prabhakaran compared to an illustrious leader who had saved the lives of 21 million Sri Lankans.

This colossal blunder would teach him another unforgettable lesson at the forthcoming Provincial Council elections for trying to glorify a terrorist leader who had inflicted untold misery on the nation for nearly three decades.

On the other hand, this is an affront to the valiant soldiers whom he commanded during the country's relentless battle against terrorism. In making such an abominable statement to fit in with his political agenda, Fonseka has no doubt played into the gallery and into the hands of the LTTE rump at the expense of the true sons of our soil who had sacrificed their life and limb to liberate the country from the scourge of LTTE terrorism.

One is baffled as to how a man who had commanded the Army in the battle against LTTE terror could descend to such a low ebb to eulogise a terrorist leader who had not only mercilessly killed thousands of civilians, but also his own cadres. However, this is not something unusual as the masses know Fonseka's true colours.

Even during the height of the battle against terrorism, Fonseka made every effort to take full credit for crushing the LTTE, thereby undermining the contribution of the Air Force and the Navy. It is true that the Army played a pivotal role, but Fonseka always projected that it was chiefly his troops which were solely responsible in eradicating terrorism.

Fonseka always projected himself as a super commander, ignoring the significant role played by the Air Force and the Navy. Had it not been for the Navy's operations to block the LTTE's supply routes and the air cover by the Air Force, the Army led by Fonseka would never have achieved those remarkable feats. Fonseka often denigrated the other service commanders and showed that this was a singular honour for him.

To cap it all, he even went to the extent of challenging the unmatched political leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the right military strategies of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. After the LTTE's defeat in May 2009, Fonseka fantacised that he was the end all and be all and could challenge anybody and everybody. This was his waterloo and he marched from hero to zero.

The masses still recall Fonseka's sweeping statements during his unsuccessful bid at the Presidential election in January 2010. Backed by certain Western elements and Tiger sympathisers, Fonseka made an ass of himself during the election campaign.

He was perhaps under a delusion that the respect the masses had for him as a war hero could be transformed into political power. While respecting him for his role in commanding the Army, the masses taught him in no uncertain terms that commanding an army and giving political leadership to the nation were poles apart.

Politicians should first and foremost love their country and its people. If hatred is embedded in the hearts of politicos and acted upon, the people would no doubt respond likewise.

Fonseka should have at least, learnt a lesson by now, from his 2010 election debacle. He descended to the level of traitor by displaying defamatory politics to the nation.

It is abundantly clear that Fonseka is immature and politically blind. The very man who had claimed that he would get Prabhakaran to wash his toilets, if captured alive, is now only too willing to wash even Prabhakaran's toilets, if any. Else, he would never have compared Prabhakaran with a leader in whom the masses have reposed implicit faith.

The Democratic Party leader seems to have gone berserk to capture power at any cost, even at Provincial Council level. Else, Fonseka would never have made such a ridiculous statement that the country was now being ruled by a person who is viler than Prabhakaran himself.

Prabhakaran was notorious as a brutal terrorist leader who did not care two hoots for children and parents and massacred Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim civilians. In perusing the LTTE leader's notorious track record, no person in his or her right senses could shamelessly declare that Prabhakaran cared for children.

It is an open secret that Fonseka's son-in-law, a wanted suspect, is flouting the law. He is not the innocuous person that Fonseka makes him out to be to woo public sympathy. Perhaps, Fonseka is expecting a presidential pardon for his son-in-law.

With the prime objective of securing a few seats in the Western and Southern Provincial Councils, Fonseka has embarked on a mud-slinging political campaign where he is even attempting to give a human face to Prabhakaran who had butchered tens of thousands of innocent children.

At a time when some Western nations are plotting to take Sri Lanka to task at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions, Fonseka's outburst is well-timed to boost the morale of the LTTE rump. At a crucial time when every Sri Lankan should unite to protect the country from the extraneous forces, Fonseka has played into the hands of Sri Lanka's enemies.

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has joined the fray by saying that there are religious conflicts in the country, sans peace. What is her motive in making such a wily statement this time around?

The controversial statements by Fonseka and Kumaratunga could by no means be dismissed as mere political rhetoric. They are tendentious and are crystal clear.

Several religious leaders have vehemently rejected these statements in toto and added that these statements are being made targeting the forthcoming UNHRC sessions in Geneva.

The Chairman of the Dharmarakshi Foundation, Ven Galagama Dharmarakshi Thera quite rightly said that several anti-national forces are at work in a conspiracy to betray the country and its Security Forces who had defeated terrorism by paying the supreme sacrifice. It is deplorable that the former Army Commander has now become a pawn in the hands of international conspirators.

The Co-Chairman of the Inter religious organisation for national unity Rev Fr. Sarath Hettiarachchi has also pointed out that certain elements are targeting the UNHRC sessions by projecting a dismal picture - that there is no religious freedom in the country.

People in all parts of the country now live in perfect peace and harmony. The end of terrorism has given a new lease of life to one and all to live without fear, suspicion or intimidation.

The masses will not be swayed by the wild allegations of people such as Fonseka and Kumaratunga who are now languishing in the political wilderness. It is indelibly etched in everyone's memory how Kumaratunga ran the country for 11 long years sans any development, but with thousands of soldiers perishing as if it was nobody's business.

As far as Fonseka is concerned, this would be yet another political fantasy, inasmuch as his 40-day dream of becoming the Head of State was painfully shattered. Only time will tell.

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