General Fonseka: Military leader, failed Presidential candidate
At DefenceWire we have established, for our own team, 3 points of analysis for examining Sarath Fonseka. We would like to share those with you. The first is Sarath Fonseka pre December 2005 (Sarath Fonseka: the early and not so famous years). The second is Sarath Fonseka post December 2005 and upto mid-November 2009 when he was Commander of the Army. The Third point of analysis is Sarath Fonseka post November 2009 when he became a political candidate.
Upto the end of his military career, Sarath Fonseka was described and analyzed on the merits of his Command as a military officer. Citizens who were opposed to terrorism saw him as a hero, some even calling him "Nandimithra", the great warrior general of King Dutugemunu. Those who favoured terrorism, like the separatist Tamil elites in the TNA and Tamil Diaspora, considered him a criminal. He was acknowledged as a great military leader regionally and even internationally by forces opposed to terrorism as a concept and phenomenon.
Following his entry into politics however, that description has changed. We would like to describe it as a broadening of the unit of analysis to include all three periods of Fonseka's life described above. This analysis had to include his personal life and character during his military career.
The political arena, as was witnessed, is a whole different ballgame for a military man. It is more so when he is campaigning for the biggest job in the country. The candidates have to embrace the fact that every aspect of their character, from the time they held a responsible office, will be scrutinized. Herein lies the dilemma.
Does one scrutinize a successful military commander-turned candidate based on the merits of THAT job (past military record)? or does one scrutinize his political record? which, in Fonseka's case was non-existent. We do not know of a single military officer (perhaps Yoshitha being the exception) who enters the service with at least a figment of an imagination of eventually running for a public office or even President.
This is why military service has been separated from political service, at least at this level. Now, had Fonseka campaigned for the forthcoming General Election without campaigning the last Presidential Election, he would have stood a chance of being elected and would still be the darling of the masses.
But, unfortunately, he chose the latter maybe because he wanted to get even with the Rajapakses, but also because a group of opportunistic political jackals (we will explain why we use this term) saw this as the opportunity for some reflected glory in the war victory and a chance to "Send Mahinda Home". Fonseka post November 2009 would have agreed to both these objectives.
Both Fonseka and the pack of jackals were guided by political expediency rather than principles and lost handsomely. For those jackals that lured the lion and turned him into a half-breed, this is what they do.
But this is NOT what military officers do, at least that was not the precedence in Sri Lanka until Fonseka post November 2009. The task of the lion was to form the vanguard around the lambs and protect the lambs from harm and not to charge into the midst of the lambs with a pack of jackals asking to be elected their king.
The luring of the lion (and the lion being lured) and a few other lions following their leader into this mish-mash of things has discredited the uniform. This was inevitable. Fonseka and his followers made this choice. They will now have to live with it.
The Army will have nothing to do with it either, for if they did, the 5 forcibly retired Generals (and we can name at least five more who Fonseka promoted above others) would have left the Army and joined his campaign. Now a show of support like that would have definitely turned the tables on the Rajapakse regime. But this did not happen.
Lesson learnt? Politicians cannot be discredited the same way that you cannot mud-wrestle with a pig. But military officers can and will be discredited and they will suffer, for it is a profession with honour. It is a profession that trains one to die for that honour.
Totally fabricated coup designed to create a public opinion to purge Fonseka from public life forever, which also reinforces our argument about the lion laying in with the jackals/pigs and losing its credibility. Our estimate is that the government, which is also made up of some cunning jackals of its own, will eventually get Fonseka to commit a mistake (or capitalize on one he has made already, like the statement he made to Frederica Janz) and lap him up using the long arm of the 'law'.
The people of this country, except those reeling under the pain of their favorite party losing and with it their own personal projects, will not say "අෙන් අෙපායි" at least to the extent they would have said අෙන් අෙපායි to "General Fonseka post November 2009" being put behind bars.
The statement made to Janz
What happened on that day was reported by us as follows (DefenceWire May 20th 2009). Sometimes reading between the lines maybe encouraged.
As reported by the media, LTTE's former police and 'political wing' chief and chief spokesman Nadesan, his family, Pulidevan and his family and Ramesh and his family have all died and their bodies discovered by the Special Forces.
There were rumours that the two leaders had gone down on their knees and begged the Special Forces at which point they assumed the Special Forces to smile and let them go.
Rumours are that Prabhakaran's entire family was dead. These rumours indicate that even Prabha's daughter, Duharga was there at the scene. Until otherwise indicated by the government, at this moment in particular, their bodies are nowhere to be found.
Other leaders like Lawrence, Karikalan, Ilanthirayan, Papa, Sempian etc are also dead. Their bodies might also be discovered in due course.
The chief of the LTTE's Mine-laying unit and a chief innovator of the Jhonny Mine and other deadly IEDs has died having lost both his legs in a mysterious blast. The LTTE's chief of smuggling with India and the deputy of the international procurement units (not Castro) have also died.
So did Fonseka spill the beans at the interview with Frederica? What was the point in Fonseka's idea of taking LTTE cadres alive? (කන්නදීල ඇතිකරන්නද?) Is it true that the Secretary Defence wanted the war to end on the 18th? Did he commit the Special Forces, which was the Commander's Reserve, to the final battle to secure an early end to the war for fear of an international attempt to rescue the LTTE leadership if it dragged on any further? Did Fonseka get angry with that decision made when he was away in China? Was he also angry that his own reserve was deployed from under his nose and that his own pace to end the war was somehow jeopardized? Did he feel angry that Gotabaya had stolen his thunder? These questions may have the answers embedded in them.
About whose right and whose wrong?
No one is completely right and completely wrong in this fiasco. Any one who thinks he knows what's completely right (or whose completely right) and what's completely wrong (or whose completely wrong) in this chaotic episode of contemporary Sri Lankan history is an idiot.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
General Fonseka: Military leader, failed Presidential candidate
Posted by Defencewire at 9:44 PM