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Sarath Fonseka to be freed? Speculation rife

Can happen later this week according to rumours

There was intense speculation yesterday that General Sarath Fonseka, the former Army Commander now serving a term of imprisonment, may be released in the next few days but there was no official confirmation that this would in fact be so.

"There had been indications that Fonseka whose bail application to the Supreme Court will be taken up later this month may be released as early as this week," one well informed source said.

However, observers and analysts said that such speculation had previously occurred several times in recent months – during the November anniversary of the President’s election, January 1, the Sinhala and Hindu New Year period and Wesak.

Fonseka is currently under treatment at the Nawaloka Hospital for a lung condition having won a court order that this facility should be made available to him.

In terms of his sentence, his term of imprisonment runs till July 2013.


Post-mortem on Geneva

We have to face up to the fact that the Sri Lankan Government suffered a serious set-back at Geneva. We can of course argue that adding the abstentions to the votes against the US Resolution shows that we lost only by one vote. That kind of statistical casuistry will take us nowhere. In fact the refusal to face up to ugly facts that motivates such casuistry could prove to be dangerous. It could even lead to the international isolation in which Sri Lanka found itself under the Jayewardene Government in 1987, as acknowledged by JRJ himself. It is true that two powerful countries, namely China and Russia, voted on our side. During a spell of service in Moscow from 1995 to 1998 I found that the strong Indo-Soviet bonds forged during the Cold War remained just as strong as ever, and my guess is that in the last resort, sometime in the future, Russia will side with India against us. We must acknowledge Sri Lanka’s vulnerability.


Geneva: Lanka fails to beat the odds

Resolution amended again at India’s  behest to include key operative words, ‘in  consultation with and with the concurrence of the government of Sri Lanka

The US resolution on Sri Lanka was adopted by the UNHRC yesterday in Geneva with a majority of nine votes––24 for, 15 against and 8 abstaining.

Although India succumbed to US pressure to vote for the resolution, key Asian countries, including those representing SAARC and two UN Security Council members voted against it.

Although India had never voted for a ‘country specific’ resolution, the US and the Tamil Nadu politicians pressured the Manmohan Singh government to change the country’s position.


India votes for resolution against Sri Lanka

India on Thursday voted for a United States-sponsored resolution at the United Nations' top human rights body censuring Sri Lanka for its alleged rights violations during the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

India initially showed reluctance to vote on a nation-specific resolution but changed its stand after political parties in Tamil Nadu exerted pressure on the United Progressive Alliance government to go with the resolution. The DMK, in particular, threatened to pull out its Ministers from the UPA government on the issue.

With 24 votes for, 15 against and 8 abstentions, the 47-member United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted the resolution, which noted with concern that an internal inquiry report in Sri Lanka did not adequately address “serious allegations” of violations of international law.

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