The fall of a hero
Posted on October 1st, 2010

Shenali Waduge

The outcome was nothing unexpected at best it was a test to see how the President of Sri Lanka was able to withstand further pressures both national & foreign & endorse sentence. There are likely to be various commentaries on the sentence against the former army commander now set to languish 30 months in the Welikada prison but it is a stark reminder that in politics there are no permanent friends or foes not even permanent interests (except of course to remain in power)!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The sentence has enabled political parties & personages that influenced the former army commander opportunity for some media space & air time sufficient enough for the public to know they have not gone from the political scene altogether. So one finds the JVP all in blackƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦and other new entrants taking over the UNP press conferencesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦& these signals are important.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ These political parties & personages are responsible for the fall of a hero. It is they who preyed upon the character flaws & weaknesses of the former army commander & artfully orchestrated an internationally funded coup to challenge the ruling political party & its leadership immediately following the victory over the LTTE. It is they who must apologize to Fonseka,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ his family & his supportersƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ for fooling him into thinking that he is the best person to rule Sri Lanka. The ingredients of leadership in the battlefield are certainly not those that are needed to govern a country. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ When a political leader has displayed the willingness to take on the enemy to the last, passed on this goal clearly to his military, created teams to engage all opposition & personally presided over much of the planning & strategies needed to win over LTTE terror & when this has been given media coverage internationally & locally what kind of person would think of challenging such a person?

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It is important at this stage to bear in mind the thoughts of the public of Sri Lanka. This is where those that hoodwinked Fonseka forgot to note in their excitement thinking they had the white rabbit to dethrone Rajapakse. At no time did the public ever underestimate the capability of the armed forces in defeating the LTTE. The public however, faulted all the Governments who fell prey to international pressures, who conceded to the wishes of the LTTE, who made mockery of the armed forces, sacrificing many lives even the ordinary publicƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦it was by watching RajapakseƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s war strategy that the publicƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ realized the difference lay in the leadership & the political will powerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦& this is whereƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Rajapakse managed to secure the votes & this is where he will continue to secure the votes. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Thought the President needs to be ever mindful that the war victory slogan cannot forever win public opinion or favor. Rajapakse & his Government now needs to perform & build the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s economy & if this area is engaged & planned as carefully as the war effort Rajapakse will be assured of the public mandate though of course he must be also mindful that certain grey areas within his Government cannot prevail all of the time to cause disturbance & discomfort to the people.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The plan to entice the former army commander beguile him into thinking himself far superior to the incumbent President was an artful one & possibly one of the best political maneuvers in Sri Lanka & one that certainly did shake the President even for a brief moment. However, the former army commander was naƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚¯ve to understand why a political party such as the UNP & its virtually perpetual leader would agree to stepping aside to promote the army commander as a possible challenger to the Presidency against an excellently planned media coverage of the war which easily articulated & portrayed to the public of Sri Lanka RajapakseƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s role in securing defeat over the LTTE, handling to perfection international political pressures & galvanizing the public of Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Therefore, those that were pulling FonsekaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s political strings never meant his political entrance to be a victory for Fonseka per seƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦it was only to bring him into political limelightƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦give him a platform to showcase his emergence & to enable him to challenge not Rajapakse but Wickremasinghe in a future role. Therefore, now that the UNP is looking as if it has been usurped by a credible enemy, UNPers must first plan to save its party before thinking of running the country. What is at stake for the UNP is far greater than we can comprehend. The grand old party must not be allowed to be overthrown & taken over by those that have no principles. Therefore, party stalwarts need toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ take action & grassroot level UNP base needs to promptly come into action to save the party from facing the same fate that has befallen the JVP.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Any challenge to Rajapakse by the former army commander was unlikely to have come in the 2009/10 elections but it certainly would have given him momentum to first push aside Wickremasinghe from his cosy Opposition chair & then concentrate on spreading his popularity. Though elements of the public ever grateful for the ground leadership given by Fonseka must not forget that this was a man being influenced by a lobby that was all the while working towards dividing the nation. It is these personages who have no qualms about Sri Lanka or its people. Money is what makes them talk, power is what they work towards & they are all influenced by foreign sources. At best what most of us must make out of what befell Fonseka was the unfortunate fortune of falling prey to those that had no love for Sri Lanka or its people. Had Fonseka come as an independent candidate his fortune may have been far different. It is Fonseka to decide to re-enter the political scenario shrugging himself away from these anti-Sri Lankan forces. It is in this light that we can but wonder what would have happened had Fonseka not fallen prey to the antics of these influencersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦.this is where irony of political privileges come into playƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Had the former army commander gracefully bowed out of his role, carried on with appointments given by the Government, not challenged the political leadership, the Government would not have remotely thought about bringing all the accusations to which Fonseka has now been found guilty. The public would not have been privy to hicorp cases, that his daughterƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s education was funded by the Government etcƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦& they would be no mention of any white flags creating further chaos & embarrassment to the country. This is the irony & the fate that is likely to befall all those who fall out of favor. This is unfortunately a universal truth & one that occurs practically everywhere the world over. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Therefore, the challenges that lie ahead are far more dangerous than the enemy we knew. It is natural for the days ahead to provide media attention for Fonseka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦soon he will himself he how many of these friends will reduce as the days go by & it is only natural until such time Fonseka is again needed to boost their own political image. It is unfortunate to see the former army commander become a mere political tool for some who have no other tool than to use the former army commander as a subject matter to gain political mileage. In the case of the JVP, they are a party fast approaching political wilderness. Having lost their venomous mouthpiece again to the ruling party, their numbers of dwindled in parliament & it is likely that shakeups in the higher education system more students are likely to be privy to English education to enable them to have better opportunities to further their careers than spending time picketing for the JVP & shouting trade union slogans.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It is also ironical that as much as there are to claim sympathy for Fonseka how many of them actually voted for him!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The victory over the LTTE was rightly a victory that belonged to no single person. It was an effort that for the first time in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s political history where a concerted effort was directed towards a single goal, a goal which was communicated without ambiguity to the troops on the ground, air & sea & one that propelled players from the public sector, private sector & most politicians to be united. This achievement unfortunately was clouded by the conniving of a few together with a foreign lobby & denied the country its due right to glorify in a well deserved victory. What country in the hemisphere can boast of ridiculing the myth that terrorism cannot be defeated ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” only Sri Lanka has been able to achieve this fete & it is the punishment for entering its name in the record books of history that Sri Lanka continues to be targeted against.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Having said that it is the onus of the Government not to disappoint not only those that voted for them but also those that oppose & those of whom are watching the performance of the Government. True, there are characters in all Governments that are unworthy, there are those who are given portfolios without merit, there are others who continue to be a menace to society & others too who are best not talked of altogether. Yet, in this milieu there are worthy & capable people who have proved their worth & it is these who will be the key to retaining the Government in popularity therefore the Government must be aware of & be sensitive to the requirements of the public then only will they remain in favor. At all times it is only human to remind ourselves that we are worth only upto the time we can deliver.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ For those that made a fool of Fonseka it is hoped that they would leave him be & not make him a further ruse to advance their own political interests. At best he deserves to remain in our minds as a key player that helped liberate the country & certainly not as a man that spouted venom against a Government purely because he was fooled to do so.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Shenali Waduge

8 Responses to “The fall of a hero”

  1. Dr.K Says:

    Yes, what writer says is correct.

    Weak UNP and lost JVP are responsible for fooling Fonseka and put him into this trouble. At least now Fonseka and Anoma should review what really has happened and change their path, be with people without being fooled by the lost political parties and their goons.

    Still people like him as one of the key players that helped liberate the country but not as a political leader who could be placed ahead of MR.

  2. mario_perera Says:

    This topic is an occasion to point out two glaring differences between the Duttu Gemunu of the Manavamsa and the man who is credited with that mantle today. The former confronted the usurper face to face and brought him down. The man who did so this time is the man languishing in jail. The former had quality the latter is not endowed with by any stretch of imagination; magnanimity (mahatma). The former built a ‘chaitiya’ (memorial) in honour of his fallen foe. The latter gave his ‘dasa maha yodaya’ who did the job for him, a convicts jumper to wear and a threadbare mat to sleep on in his dark, mosquito filled dingy prison cell. There was once an ex-minister who went to jail and spent his time writing a book. The present incumbant, an ex-four star general and an ex-M.P. might probably take to reading one; The Count of Monte Cristo!

  3. cassandra Says:

    You have started your article with the statement that ‘The outcome was nothing unexpected’. That is not comforting. Nor is your statement later that “Had the former army commander gracefully bowed out of his role, carried on with appointments given by the Government, not challenged the political leadership, the Government would not have remotely thought about bringing all the accusations to which Fonseka has now been found guilty.” What you are saying, in effect, is what the former Army Commander himself has said – the action against him was brought because he challenged Mr Rajapakse in the Presidential Elections.

    And as Mr Fonseka starts his 30 month sentence, ordinary Sri Lankans must wonder how ‘fair’ it is that the man who played such a decisive role in militarily defeating the LTTE should be languishing behind bars while leading lights of the LTTE, like KP, Daya Master, Karuna and Pillayan, should remain free without even a single charge being brought against them, and one of them is even a cabinet minister.

  4. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    It is true that KP, Daya Master, Karuna and Pillayan were LTTE terrorists before, but Fonseka’s untruthful statement about ‘white flags’ was a crime against our nation as a whole and put himself on top of the traitors list. And I am sure KP, Daya Master, Karuna and Pillayan would never go to that level to sell your own country for a handful of dollar bills.

  5. cassandra Says:

    I grant Sarath Fonseka’s ‘white flags’ statement was simply unpardonable but how fair is it that the likes of KP and Karuna should enjoy total immunity from prosecution for their roles in the killing of so many servicemen and innocent civilians?

  6. Nanda Says:

    Your argument is the same as Maduluwawe Sobhita Thero. This agrument is not contructive at all or you do not believe Fonseka is a threat to Sri lanka.
    What is the way forward ?
    This fool , his wife and the the followers do not yield until they topple the government. This fool strongly believes he defeated LTTE. This fool is so ambitious that he will not stop until he has all the money and power. Can the Thero change his head ? No one can as USA is his master.
    This means Mahinda ayya has no choice. Best is to put him in jail and let things evolve.
    What can you do if he wants to be president at any cost ? Can any of the sympathisers tell me ? He and his family are such greedy, dishonest people.

  7. Nanda Says:

    The bottom line is. Mahinda is always ready to pardon him. He is not ready to ask Mahinda for it. If Mahinda can pardon those terrorists why couldn’t he pardon him? There is no threat to Mahinda’s position from him, that is very clear. But he is a threat to Sri lanka. Mahinda loves Sri lanka. Mahinda cannot betray the army. Mahinda cannot let those army judges look like fools. He must approve the punishment and correctly he has done that. Those who love Sri Lanka should never feel sympathatic to Fonseka.

  8. Lorenzo Says:


    KP, Karuna, Daya, George were yesteryear’s terrorists. Fonseka is today’s traitor.

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