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Fonseka's resignation cleared
|He says Sri Lanka feared coup and on Oct. 15 asked India to place troops on alert|
COLOMBO: Following a disquieting disclosure that Sri Lanka on October 15 asked India to place its troops on alert to counter a possible coup in the island nation, President Mahinda Rajapaksa granted permission to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Sarath Fonseka, to retire with immediate effect.
The presidential nod and direction to his office to send a detailed reply to the three-page resignation letter, which cites, besides the India factor, 15 reasons, came on the eve of the visit here of Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
On the events of October 15, Gen. Fonseka noted, "With a pain of mind it was noted that the same army which gained victory for the nation was suspected of staging a coup and thereby alerting the government of India once again on the 15th of October 2009, unnecessarily placing the Indian troops on high alert.
"This action did tarnish the image and reputation gained by the Sri Lanka army as a competent and professional organisation which was capable of defeating a terrorist group after the Malayan Emergency, in the eyes of the world. This suspicion would have been due to the loyalty of the Sri Lanka army towards me as its past Commander who led the army to the historic victory."
Political observers here are struck by Gen. Fonseka's concern over the "plight" of the war displaced Tamils and see it as a sure sign of the "war hero" seeking to reach out to Mr. Rajapaksa's political rivals and to don political robes.
It would be watched with interest how the General convinces the Tamils that he is a better bet than Mr. Rajapaksa in serving their interests. The dilemma before the Tamil parties was best articulated in the response of Mano Ganeshan on Groundviews web site ( http://www.groundviews.org/). Mr. Ganeshan has sent a questionnaire to Gen. Fonseka and is awaiting his response.
At present in Kandy, Mr. Rajapaksa is to preside over the convention of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on Sunday to consider dates for the general election and a possible presidential election.
Meanwhile, preparatory to Mr. Mukherjee's visit, the Indian High Commissioner-designate, Ashok K. Kantha, called on Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama here. His Ministry said Mr. Kantha was due to present his credentials to the President shortly. Mr. Mukherjee is to deliver the Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture 2009 on Saturday.
© Copyright 2000 - 2009 The Hindu
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Also read the related stories in THE HINDU as follows:
Judges gheraoed, chaos in Karnataka High CourtStaff Reporter
|Lawyers raise slogans against Chief Justice Dinakaran|
Lawyers assemble before the Karnataka High Court in Bangalore on Monday to protest against Justice P.D. Dinakaran.
BANGALORE: In an unprecedented incident, agitating advocates on Monday disrupted the proceedings in the court hall of the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, P.D. Dinakaran. They also raised slogans against him and forced him to adjourn the court for some time.
Around 200 advocates also gheraoed Justices V. Gopala Gowda and B.V. Nagaratna when the latter did not heed their demand not to conduct the proceedings.
The lawyers locked the doors of the hall where the judges were sitting and cut off power supply. The two judges were able to leave Court Hall No. 2 only after Mr. Justice Dinakaran and several other judges came and escorted them through the jostling crowd.
The advocates had turned up in force to ensure that the boycott of all court proceedings in the State, called by the Advocates Association of Bangalore (AAB), was heeded.
Tension began building up in the High Court around 11 a.m. when the lawyers found that the proceedings were going on. They began raising slogans against Mr. Justice Dinakaran and asked their colleagues to abstain from the court.
The advocates then barged into the court hall and raised slogans against the Chief Justice. They abused the lawyers present in the court, assaulted some, and physically removed them from the court.
Mr. Justice Dinakaran urged the agitators to let him speak. He said he had no occasion to speak of the "pain and suffering" he had undergone in recent days. "I have given my explanation. My silence should not be construed as admission of guilt. As a judge, I have to function and discharge my constitutional obligation and that is what I am doing."
With the lawyers refusing to permit him to continue, the Chief Justice left the court hall only to return in the afternoon.
Two journalists were also assaulted by the advocates.
© Copyright 2000 - 2009 The Hindu
Saturday, November 7, 2009
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