General Sarath Fonseka was arrested on a bunch of trumped up charges, but mainly for daring to threaten Mahinda in a Presidential election. Despite his poor health, Fonseka was arrested in February 2010 and sentence to three years. Word on the street now, however, is that he’ll be released soon. Like any day now. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told the Hindu so, so it looks like the General will be out soon. Without his title, a proper house or much shot at power, but out still.
Historically, Sri Lankan leaders have to be very cautious of Generals. They frequently take power, at least in the Mahavamsa. Mahinda was uber-conscious, surrounding Fonseka’s hotel with troops right after the election. It was super dodgy, actually, but Mahinda wasn’t taking any chances. He also saw fit to eliminate him from politics by putting him in jail. I’m not sure if Fonseka even has political rights when he gets out. This has happened to leaders like Srimavo Bandaranaike and they’ve recovered, but Fonseka is not a career politician, and not naturally skilled.
If he does get out, what does it mean?
Fonseka was an MP, but he’s been stripped of that. He was the head of his own party, but that’s frittered away. The next Presidential election isn’t till 2016, unless Mahinda decides to call it earlier. And I’m not sure Fonseka can even run with his conviction. From what I hear a lot of his campaign money was taken to start Ceylon Today (newspapers), so maybe he has a mouthpiece, or maybe he doesn’t. One of his major campaign issues was not having a house, and I think he still doesn’t have one. But it’s better than jail.
It’ll be good if he gets out. He really didn’t do anything except running against Mahinda, which isn’t a crime.