20 November 2011

Persecution of The Opposition

I'm just about to complete a business trip to Sri Lanka.
The political situation is somewhat similar to Ukraine.
The former Sri Lankan Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka was
found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison last Friday.
What was the offence he committed?

Maybe it was the fact that he stood as a presidential candidate
running against the sitting president Mahinda Rajapaksa during early 2010.
Fonseka received over 40% of the votes losing to Rajapaksa with 57%.

Shortly after the election, Fonseka was arrested and charged on three counts:
1. That he gave an interview to the English langauge newspaper, The Sunday Leader
where it wqs alleged by the editor that Fonseka made a comment which could
'arose communal feelings directly or indirectly'. In the comment Fonseka
had claimed that the Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (The Presidents brother)
had ordered an army Brigadier 'not to allow any Tamil Tigers (terrorists) to surrender alive.
Its was alleged he had ordered instead to shoot to kill all of them.
(The trial then became know as the 'white flag trial').

2. The statement made to the newspaper could 'incite communal hatred'.

3. An attempt was made to arouse anti-government feelings among the public and or communities.

Clearly another case of political persecution.

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