Sri Lanka Crisis: Former Army Chief Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka Claimed For The Post Of President In Sri Lanka
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Former Chief of Army Staff Field Marshal Sarat Fonseka has submitted his claim for the post of President in Sri Lanka. Fonseca has said that he wants to change the current political system. So if the majority of the Parliament accepts it, he is ready to become the President. Like former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Field Marshal Fonseca has had a hero-like image. When the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was crushed in 2009, the Sri Lankan army was led by Fonseca. After that in 2010, he gave a political challenge to Mahinda Rajapakse, but then he failed in this attempt.
Now in the midst of the ongoing turmoil in the country, Fonseca has again put herself forward. A few days ago, he had supported the name of opposition party Samagi Jana Bulavegaya (SJP) leader Sajith Premadasa for the post of President. But now he himself has extended his name. According to observers, 71-year-old Fonseca’s political ambitions have been evident in the past. He is also a member of Parliament at present. That is why his latest offer is being taken seriously. Amidst the unprecedented instability in which the country is in, there has been constant speculation about the army’s stand. It is understood that if the military favors him, his name for president could be agreed upon.
Fonseca is among opposition lawmakers who recently participated in anti-government protests. Fonseca, 71, was among the two lawmakers who were not attacked by the protesters during that period. This has been seen as a sign that there is a sense of respect for Fonseka among anti-government public groups.
Fonseca has now said that if he is given the presidency, he is confident that he will bring the country out of the current crisis. He said- ‘It is not an impossible task to get the country out of this crisis. If I am made the President, I will definitely listen to the common people. When I became the Chief of Army Staff, this was not liked by the government and many generals. But then I didn’t care, because then I knew that if I did a good job, I would survive and if I didn’t, I would have to return home.’
Sri Lanka’s parliament will elect the next president on 20 July. On Thursday, Gotabaya Rajapaksa sent his resignation from the presidency to the speaker of parliament via e-mail. This has cleared the way for the election of a new President without any problems. Also, the discussion of possible names for the next president has gained momentum. There are deep differences between political parties on this issue.
Rajapaksa’s SLPP party is believed to play an important role in electing a new president, given the majority in parliament. There has been a protest in the SLPP regarding the field march Fonseca. Whether the party’s stand will change in his case now, it is the eyes of the observers.