Sarath Fonseka was sentenced to jail for (another) three years, for the white flag case. The charge was “spreading rumours and causing public disorder” (LBO) but the real offense was turning on the Rajapaksas.
What Fonseka did was give an interview to The Sunday Leader saying “Gota Ordered Them Shot“.
“Later, I learnt that Basil had conveyed this information to the Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa – who in turn spoke with Brigadier Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army’s 58th Division, giving orders not to accommodate any LTTE leaders attempting surrender and that “they must all be killed.” (The Sunday Leader)
I commented on it then saying:
This is probably true in the sense that it happened, and in the sense that Gotabaya did probably control the battlefield to that extent. The Geneva Conventions prescribes surrender under a white flag, but war is also war. For me the bigger moral issue is what happened to Prabhakaran’s family (including his preteen son). I think they were killed.
Whatever hot water this gets the government in, it gets Sarath Fonseka in more. He should be careful talking to the Sunday Leader and figure out what to leak to further his own ends. I think his staff is trying to retract this interview post-mortem, but it’s really too late. (Sarath On Surrender)
Basically, I think it is what he said, though his staff later tried to retract it. I think it also probably happened. Saying it as he did, however, was quite dumb. Fonseka seemed to have been motivated throughout by personal malice against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. He was trying to pin war crimes stuff on him, but very very clumsily. He had numerous chances to be strategic, but he chose personal pokery over politics and got screwed.
That said, the stuff they’ve put the former war hero in jail for is nonsense. They surrounded his hotel on election eve and arrested him for revealing military secrets and plotting to assassinate Mahinda. Which they presumably would have done had he won.
He was later arrested and charged with campaigning in uniform, and sentenced for corruption. Again, what they shove through the legal system is almost irrelevant. Fonseka was sentenced for running against Mahinda in a democratic election. Ranil can run cause he’ll lose, but Fonseka actually did have a (in hindsight theoretical shot) and even after he was elected to Parliament, Mahinda arrested and jailed him.
It’s all complete nonsense, and this White Flag case is a bit more nonsense piled on top. The fact that Mahinda did it on his own birthday is also a bit obscene.