General Sarath Fonseka has been arrested for plotting a military coup. Apparently it’s a coincidence that the arrest happened just hours after he called for an independent war crimes tribunal; agreeing to name those in the government complicit in human rights abuses/war crimes (<cough> the Rajapakse brothers <cough!>).
Earlier in the day, Gen Fonseka had said he was prepared to give evidence in international courts on any war crimes charges brought in relation to the civil war.
“I am definitely going to reveal what I know, what I was told and what I heard. Anyone who has committed war crimes should definitely be brought into the courts,” Gen Fonseka said.
The government has been threatening arrest for a while now. First it was for a coup attempt, then it was harbouring ‘deserters’, after that: Official Secrets (war crimes are an official secret apparently), now they’re back to arresting him for a coup again.
If you want more reasons to doubt the government’s allegations, Indi.ca says it best:
To me, it simply doesn’t make sense that a military men would give up the uniform and personal security, file election papers, campaign, and then decide to stage a coup. He had already given up any powers that would have made a coup even possible.
Furthermore, there seems little possibility of a coup during the election, as Fonseka was holed up at the Cinnamon Lakeside. A coup, generally, involves occupying key buildings. Mahinda had already occupied them with troops.
The ‘coup’ case will be tried by military tribunal, even though Sarath resigned from the army months ago. I guess military tribunals, being outside of the purview of the press/public, were too good an opportunity to be missed.
It seems Rajapakse is the parrot who always cries ‘coup’, this has to be the third or fourth time he’s done so. And his solution to these apparent coup attempts sounds awfully similar to an actual coup (use the military to arrest opposition supporters, encircle opposition enclaves with military checkpoints, fill government buildings with troops). I’m sorry but I’m calling this bullshit.
To those who still believe he conspired to commit a military coup, it’s worth noting that the government’s definition of a coup appears to differ from everybody else’s:
Later government minister Keheliya Rambukwella said Fonseka would be tried in a military court on charges of conspiring against the president and planning a coup while army chief.
“When he was the army commander and chief of defence staff and member of the security council, he had direct contact with opposition political parties, which under the military law can amount to conspiracy,” Rambukwella said.
“He’s been plotting against the president while in the military … with the idea of overthrowing the government,” he added.
So basically if you support the opposition, and you’re in the Army, then you’re guilty of plotting a coup. If that isn’t bullshit then I don’t know what is.