This is the text of Sarath Fonseka’s letter to the Elections Commissioner. He is saying that the elections were not free and fair and were conducted illegally. I think it is naive, politically tone-deaf, foolish, helpless and dumb. But I don’t think his complaints are wrong. The election did violate the Constitution and Elections Law, blatantly. We’re used to it and we don’t care. For us it was fair enough. But in a legal sense, his complaints are actually correct.
The President is Constitutionally bound to appoint a Constitutional Council competent authorities for police and public service beneath that. He didn’t, so those appointments were illegal. There are specific elections rules regarding use of state media and properties which were violated. This doesn’t even get into the allegations of ballot stuffing.
Of course, in Sri Lanka we accept all these things and the government has been violating the Constitution for years. Sarath Fonseka should probably just accept that. Even I pretty much have. But he’s pretty dogged, and he wants to take this to court. On paper, I think he’s right, though in a hotel surrounded by troops, who knows. The full text of the letter is below.
I being the common candidate representing the New Democratic Front backed by several main opposition political parties contested for the Presidential Election held yesterday. I have decided not to accept the results which are being declared by you as the same are not valid and void in law. I also will institute appropriate legal proceedings to have the said results annulled on the following amongst other grounds. I also request that you shall not pronounce the final results until the legal proceedings are over.
- Prior to the handing over of the nomination and after the deliver of the same as well the state media made a series of intimidatory and defamatory publications tarnishing my good will and reputation.
- State media published a series of false allegations stating that I am not a citizen of Sri Lanka and a party to an international conspiracy.
- The incumbent President being a candidate of the Presidential Election made use of a large number of public properties for his election campaign including state owned resources, vehicles, fuel and the “Temple Trees”, the official residence of Prime Minister.
- The incumbent President being a candidate made use of state resources and properties including state media violating the directions given by yourselves in terms of the powers vested according to law.
- State officers were not independent as they were succummed to the pressure of the politicians since the Government has not established the Public Service Commission.
- The police services were being dominated by corrupt politicians since the Government has refused to establish the National Police Commission.
- The last two days of election namely 24th and 25th of January and the day of election namely the 26th January State media abused their authority and misused the same making a series of false allegations.
- Controllers and officers of the state media organization were working as party organizers of the candidate Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa.
- Internally Displaced Persons in war torn Northern Province were prevented from casting their votes.
- There had been a series of malpractices committed in the election including the change of fake ballot boxes.
General Sarath Fonseka