War-time Army Commander reveals his presidential ambitions

COLOMBO (The Island/ANN) - Former Army Commander, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka reveals intention of running for president, in light of the deteriorated national security.

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that he was ready to come forward as the UNP’s presidential candidate, considering the deterioration of the national security situation in the country.

Addressing the media in Colombo, Fonseka said that he would develop the country if he became the President, and he had no desire to build big houses or boost the ego of his wife.

"I am not so bankrupt as to support a Rajapaksa. My attitude towards them will never change.

The UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe must choose the right person as the party’s presidential candidate and I am devoted to Wickremesinghe. However, if he appoints someone unsuitable, I will not support him against my conscience."

The Field Marshal said that Sri Lankans were demanding that someone who was well versed in national security be named as the UNP’s Presidential and if the UNP understood the pulse of the people, the party would consider fielding him. "I won’t say that Gotabaya is the only person who understands national security. But SLPP appointed him its candidate thinking of national security. It was a good decision, taking the future of the country into consideration."

Fonseka said that his name had been recommended for the post of Minister of Law and Order, but President Sirisena had objected to it citing various reasons. "If I had held that post, the Easter Sunday attacks would not have happened. In 2018, the National Security Council met only eight times; it met only twice this year. We have only arrested 50% of terrorists trained to carry out suicide attacks. We have only arrested 60 out of 130 those responsible for terrorism."

Fonseka also took a jibe at UNP Presidential hopeful, Sajith Premadsa, criticising the latter’s attire at the Badulla rally on Monday. "We saw a person wearing blue jeans and a black T-shirt. He said that the minimum salary would be increased to Rs. 50 000. How is he going to do that? By printing forged currency? Will he take money from the rich and give to poor. Who is he? Saradiel?"

Fonseka said: "He says he will continue from where his father stopped. His father gave weapons to terrorists and ordered 600 policemen to surrender to terrorists. It’s dangerous for this man to emulate his father."

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