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Coup fears prompted his removal: Fonseka
Present Army chief appointed in spite of inquiry
COLOMBO: The need for a clear policy to win the hearts and minds of the Tamil people and the deterioration in the standards of the military under the new Army chief are two striking points made in the three-page resignation letter of Sri Lanka’s Chief of Defence Staff Sarath Fonseka.
General Fonseka, in his letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, complains he was removed from the job of Army chief on July 15 and made the CDS despite his request to continue till the Army celebrated its 60th anniversary on October 10. His removal, he alleged, was on the basis of reports from various agencies of a possible coup immediately after the victory over the LTTE. “This fear psychosis of a coup is well known among the defence circle,” he said.
The General further states that Mr. Rajapaksa went ahead with the appointment of Jagath Jayasuriya, against whom disciplinary inquiry is pending, as the new Army commander.Fall in standards
“Appointing an officer pending a disciplinary inquiry who performed duties only as a holding formation commander in the final battle, as my successor, disregarding my recommendations to appoint Major-General G.A. Chandrasiri as the commander of the Army who was the then Chief of Staff and an officer with an exemplary service as the Security Forces Commander in Jaffna for over three years. This has already led to a deterioration of the high standards I was capable of introducing to the Army, to my bitter disappointment,” the letter said.Appalling conditions
General Fonseka said the plight of the war displaced, nearly 1.5 lakh Tamil civilians currently housed in government-run camps in the north, was of great concern to him as they continued to live in “appalling conditions” due to lack of proper planning.
“Your Excellency’s government has yet to win the peace in spite of the fact that the Army under my leadership won the war. There is no clear policy to win the hearts and minds of the Tamil people, which will surely ruin the victory, attained paving the way for yet another uprising in the future,” the letter said.
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