“Roti” Fonseka’s tele-fornicating bill was 20 lakhs – ex-Army officers
Posted on January 21st, 2010

H. L. D. Mahindapala

The major plank of the Wickremesinghe-Hakeem-Mangala-Mano-Sampanthan-Soma-HANSA was to project “Roti” Fonseka “”…” remember how he forcibly thrust a roti down the throat of his cook because it was misshapen? “”…” as the man to combat corruption and restore peace and reconciliation. But the mounting scandals, exposing his character and his career, have damaged the image of the opposition’s Common Candidate beyond repair, questioning his capacity to deliver his promise of a corruption-free regime. In the latest expose aired on national TV “Roti” Fonseka comes out not only as a corrupt officer handing over deals to his son-in-law but also as a commander who got his women soldiers to service him beyond the call of duty.

When the campaign began “Roti” Fonseka seemed unassailable. At that time he was known only as a war hero and being an unknown quantity the tendency was to accept him at his word. But with only five days to go for the D-day the first-hand accounts of his family friends and fellow-officers of the Army have exposed him as a man with a base character, brutal temperament, abusing his powers as Army commander to engage in corrupt practices of purchasing arms from his son-in-law and worst of all tele-fornicating with women soldiers of low rank “”…” all of which questions his capacity to lead the nation as the next president.

The latest revelations coming from the ranks of a Lt. Colonel to a Lance Corporal make him look like the thing that the cat brought into the house. Their personal experiences narrated to the public present him as a cruel Nazi officer rather than the head of any civilized army. His exploitation of the position of power he held, as revealed in the narratives, did not end in just gaining profits through his son-in-law’s company. It went as far as enjoying the company of low rank women soldiers who, through his blessings, had the power to punish their high ranking officers for daring to discipline the “friends” of “Gen. Fonseka Sir”.

Compared to “Roti” Fonseka it is pretty obvious that Prabhakaran was an exemplary model in conducting his affairs with women. Though Prabhakaran forbade his make cadres to have intimate relations with female cadres he had the decency to marry one of his women cadres without exploiting her for his pleasure on the side. The experiences narrated by the Army officers lead to the inescapable conclusion that what “Roti” Fonseka has done with his woman soldiers is immoral, unacceptable and degrading for an officer of his rank.

Here’s the condensed narrative of Lt. Colonel Siri Perera’s made on national TV. It portrays “Roti’ Fonseka as an indecent Commander tele-fornicating with a woman soldier of a low-rank. Lt. Col. Perera produced a verifiable list of telephone calls made from the camp in Pallekelle directly to “Roti” Fonseka, the Army Commander. How she managed to go over the heads of the higher ranks in the Army and talk directly to the Army Commander, using the Army telephone, can only be explained if she and the Army Commander were on lovey-dovey terms.

“Roti” Fonseka has to explain to the public the calls he received from this woman soldier who was never in charge of any significant military operation. What were they talking about? It definitely could not have been about critical defence maneuvers or intended strategies. Common sense would dictate that it was nothing more than pillow-talk.

Lt. Col. Siri Perera produced a log of telephone calls running into several pages which makes you wonder how “Roti” Fonseka had the time to care for his family when he was so pre-occupied with a woman soldier in Pallekelle. In public, however, he complains frequently that he made sacrifices (partly true, of course) more than the others (untrue). In fact he accused the Defence Secretary of sitting in the air-conditioned room adjusting his tie while he fought the war. But listening to the latest stories of his rank and file it is possible to believe that the Defence Secretary was sitting on the edge of his chair, adjusting his tie, to relieve the tensions of possible scandals that may erupt from the conduct of his Army Commander.

Mark you, the Defence Secretary too was targeted at Pittala junction and narrowly escaped death like Fonseka. Despite Fonseka’s whingeing to project himself as the great hero who worked day and night, without a break, the mile-long log of telephone calls of “Roti” Fonseka seems to prove his life was not only easy but sleazy. He seems to have had a great time in his air-conditioned office at Army Headquarters, spending public money on tele-fornicating with women soldiers, while his men fought on his behalf. Not bad, eh, for a man who cries poor and was neglected all the time?

If Fonseka, who is so particular about the shape of “rotis” he eats in between gulps of his whiskey, cannot produce a rational explanation to his telephone calls can Mrs. Anoma Fonseka, who has entered the political arena alongside Wicky-Hakee-Mangee-Sampanthee-and-Soma-Hansa, explain why her husband was spending so much time on long and long-distance telephone calls received from a woman soldier miles away from home?

After all, Anoma says she knows her husband better than anyone else. If so did she know about these telephone calls? If she knew what did she do about it? If she can’t, perhaps, Rosie (O-so-pure!) Senanayake, a committed born-again Christian with high-sounding morals, can tell her audience about the new roti-shaped kingdom of heaven that her new tele-fornicating leader is going to establish on earth, with angels drawn from the female low ranks hovering around his head!

According to Lt. Col. Perera the woman soldier was irrepressible and to maintain discipline he recommended that she be sacked for misconduct, thievery, and disrupting discipline. Which army would tolerate an ill-disciplined soldier? Besides, nobody else in the camp had the privileges she had, especially to access the Army Commander directly. How come?

The worst was yet to come. When the recommendation to sack her landed on the desk of “Roti” Fonseka he ordered Lt. Col. Siri Perera to come to Headquarters. On arrival he was given a dressing down for interfering with the phone calls of a low-rank woman soldier using the army phone to call on the Commander.

Of course, this makes it obvious that in their pillow-talk the woman soldier had complained to the Commander about Lt. Col. Perera pulling her up for various acts of thieving, fighting with fellow-soldiers, disobeying orders and throwing her weight about banking on the power of the Big Boss behind her. (Get me?). The final upshot of all this was to send Lt. Col. Perera home with hardly any explanation. He had nowhere to go but to the courts to get his name cleared and to get his dues back.

This is only one of the many untold stories that has come to light, revealing the dark side of “Roti” Fonseka’s treatment of high and low ranking officers. Another revealing narrative that defines his character was told on TV by Capt. Sumedha de Silva who was tasked to look after his personal needs, especially food, when he was commander of Jaffna. It is an exotic tale that cannot be found even in The Arabian Nights.

He says that to cater to his finicky tastes and shapes of food (the “roti” must be perfectly round as the moon) he ran through 48 cooks and 44 waiters. The table had to be spread with goat, chicken and fish daily. The cooks prepare dinner to be taken around 10 p.m. but his drinking habits made him come to the dinner table around 2 a.m. As he insists on fresh food the cooks had to prepare hurriedly fresh goat, chicken, fish and other dishes all over again. Capt. De Silva said that he was saddened by the waste when the 30,000 troops stationed in Jaffna were only served dhal and sprats.

On one occasion another captain served him a mango without the seed. For that he was beaten by “Roti” Fonseka and removed from the Army. On another occasion he refused to eat the scrambled eggs and he had to rush to KKS and get cooks from the Navy to satisfy his tastes. In the end he hammered all 48 cooks and chased them out and Capt. De Silva had to recruit other cooks until the total added up to 60 cooks.

Capt. De Silva added that “General Fonseka Sir” always lived in an air-conditioned room and, if by chance, a waiter entered his room with even a drop of sweat or smell of sweat he would beat them severely and chase them out. It was a huge task for Capt. De Silva to keep the waiters without any sweat and he had to see that they bathed before they went to serve him.

He said that the telephone bill came to over twenty lakhs. The mess bill alone came to about Rs. 70,000.00 a month. The officers had to cook up the books and account the expenditure as entertainment to visitors.

Lance Corporal Bandara’s story is tragic. On the night of 21st, October 2003 he was put in charge of a section of the hospital in which one of “Roti” Fonseka’s woman soldiers was warded. Three women in civvies came to visit her after visiting hours. He told them that he can’t let them go without the permission of either the officer in charge of the ward or the commanding officer. They had insisted that they should be allowed to go in because they had come to visit “Gen. Fonseka Sirs” friend.

L/Cpl Bandara stuck to the rules and refused to let them go. He was abused by the women in filth and that night he was thrown in a cell in Palali and kept there for seven days until “Gen. Fonseka Sir” returned from his trip abroad. The day “Gen. Fonseka Sir” left Pallali he was charge sheeted and held in detention for 48 days. When he took ill and was taken for a stomach operation he was handcuffed and chained to the bed head.

When his parents came to visit him he was still in that position. “ƒ”¹…”I felt like committing suicide,” he said. When the TV interviewer asked him about the nature of the illness of the female friend of “Gen. Fonseka Sir” he replied that it is too indecent to mention in public.

With this record, which concerned citizen will let the fate of the nation fall into the hands of “Roti” Fonseka? Is he the man who can serve the nation and restore democracy? If he does will it be any better than that of Pol Pot?

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