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Court Martial ruling is not a political verdict

Oct 5, 2010 11:33:12 AM - itnnews.lk

Minister Maithripala Sirisena claims that Sarath Fonseka is not the first person to be sentenced by a Court Martial. He recalled that such verdicts had been given with regard to Military officials on several occasions.

The Minister said that in the past, nearly 5000 military officials had been penalized under Court Martial. The UNP did not speak about the soldiers who took the lead and sacrificed their lives in the battle against terrorism. It was so with the JVP. He queried whether they were talking about the conviction by a Court Martial of the Army Commander for violating tender procedures and committing irregularities or because he was a politician. The Minister claimed that there is no separate law for a politician or a head of an establishment when they commit irregularities.

Addressing the United Peoples Freedom Alliance media briefing at the Mahaweli Centre, Minister Susil Premajayanth said that the objective of the Opposition is to gain political mileage via the Court Martial verdict on Sarath Fonseka. The correct procedure has been followed regarding this and the President had approved the ruling as the Commander-in-Chief. However, those pressing for Mr. Fonseka’s release should adhere to correct procedures as set out by the Judiciary and not resort to activities which are aimed at political gains rather than his release.

Minister Dulles Alahapperuma told journalists that imprisoning Sarath Fonseka based on the Court Martial verdict is not a breach of democracy. He refuted allegations made by certain groups that it violated democratic principles.