Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Is Sri Lanka Crazy Enough to Elect a Retired General as President? - By Dr. Stephen Long

I know that one of General Fonseka's stated reasons for running for president is to put an end to corruption. Pu-lease… Have any of you read Mr. Rajasingham's article in the Asian Tribune about Fonseka's son-in-law in Oklahoma and his illegal, illicit, even criminal profiteering on Sri Lanka's war against the LTTE? Some estimate that this young man, Danuna Tilakaratne, made a commission of two cents for each bullet fired by the Government forces during the terrorist war, and that many of his deals were with scurrilous international arms traders that are currently being investigated (nice Buddhist - trafficking in deadly weapons - Right Livelihood?). Danuna forged documents, changed names on company registrations, used shady arms dealers, and made millions under the protection of his father in law: the same Gen. Fonseka who wants to rid the country of corruption. I feel, like many others, that this son-in-law incident is perhaps only the tip of the iceberg in regards to Fonseka's corruption with lucrative military contracts under his control. We'll see how it pans out.

By the way, I was also told by a very high-level source that Fonseka's daughter (at least one of them) and his son-in-law were also on salary from the Sri Lankan Government until just a month ago - while they were living in Oklahoma! The Government must have been totally asleep at the switch not to have caught this much earlier. If they knew about it, then shame on them for turning the other way and allowing it to continue as long as it did. Think about it, Sri Lankan people: are you sure you want to turn over your country's presidency to someone this tainted with corruption? What do you expect will change by making him the most powerful man in your land?

General Fonseka is also known for his unwillingness to take no for an answer - and for punishing those who disobey him. I have a friend in Colombo who told me about an army major serving under General Fonseka. His name is Lakshman Palipane. For a long period of time he was a favorite of the General, and he was oftentimes given preferential treatment for his loyalty. When Fonseka asked Lakshman to get him two young ladies for an evening's entertainment he refused on moral grounds. The General, in his pique, fired his former friendly subordinate, and Lakshman took him to court and won the case. Unfortunately, the Government took no action to get him restored to his former post, and the matter was brushed under the rug. Lakshman's military career was permanently ended.

Lastly, it has come to my attention that Bruce Fein (I'm not going to go into who this loathesome creature is here - as I've done this in many articles over the past two years) and his lot of LTTE front organization spokespeople, are indicating that they prefer a Fonseka win over President Rajapaksa. Why do you think this is so? They only want to undermine the stability of the country with prolonged political strife so they can continue to prosecute Gothabaya and carve out a section of your island for the Tamils. Come on - wake up! I also learned that General Fonseka met with former US Ambassador Robert Blake at least twenty times - and we know that Bob Blake is guilty as sin of favoring the LTTE over the GOSL. He's the one who recently met with Bruce Fein and others from Tamils Against Genocide, among other Tamil LTTE fronts, in Washington DC. No question which side of the fence Mr. Blake sits on. So why should the General and the former ambassador be so close?

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