Fonseka press conference yesterday
General Sarath Fonseka has left the Cinnamon Lakeside and been escorted home. I don’t think there’s any danger of him being assassinated, indeed, that’s the worst case scenario for everyone. Mahinda Rajapaksa has been declared the victor by his own state apparatus and I think most people accept that result. I guess I do too, but that’s more a testament to our low standards than anything else. The election campaign was illegal, but not illegal enough for us to care.
Sarath Fonseka’s complaints against the election are wide reaching and probably valid. Misuse of state resources, defamation, the unconstitutional appointments of both police and public services, and then election rigging. However illegal these things are, they are also largely accepted by the public. The issue of the appointment of police and public service people is so big and entrenched that it’s blatant and obvious unconstitutionality does not even draw attention. All these people are supposed to be appointed by a Constitutional Council, under the 17th amendment, but every leader has ignored that.
On a purely legal level it’s a simple ruling, but this is not a land of laws. In term of rule of man, no one cares. That said, there are precedents for elections being overturned on similar grounds. Most notably, Basil Rajapakse vs. his niece Nirupama Rajapakse.
Ultimately Kularatne won the poll, but was disqualified by a judge based on an election petition submitted by Nirupama Rajapakse, which held that an agent of Ananda Kularatne, Basil Rohana Rajapakse, committed the “corrupt practice of making a false statement relating to (Nirupama’s) personal character and conduct.” (Sunday Leader)
There are other other precedents as well of MP elections being tossed out, but never on the Presidential level. Do I think it will happen? No. So what now? Honestly, we go back to not caring and Mahinda Rajapaksa goes back to being President. The election wasn’t free and fair, but it wasn’t that bad. What to do.