• Saturday, June 15, 2024

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Sarath Fonseka to run as independent for presidential elections

Sri Lanka’s war-time general Sarath Fonseka (L) and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (R) shake hands during an agreement signing ceremony in Colombo in 2016 (Photo credit: Getty Images)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

Former Army Commander, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, has decided to contest in the upcoming Presidential election as an independent candidate, sources close to him have revealed. Fonseka, currently the Chairman of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), is expected to make an official announcement in June.

Fonseka’s decision to run independently rather than align with any political party has reportedly garnered the support of several SJB MPs. Additionally, clandestine discussions are underway with members and politicians from other political factions.

Sources indicate that Fonseka’s campaign will focus on promoting corruption-free governance and prioritising national security. Having actively participated in the ‘Aragalaya’ protests, he aims to leverage the public support he garnered during that period.

To bolster his presidential bid, Fonseka plans to release a book detailing his experiences and role as Army Commander during the conflict, which is expected to contain significant revelations about the war.

In related developments, a former diplomat has requested a meeting with Fonseka on behalf of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. Although Fonseka is open to meeting Wickremesinghe, he has made it clear that he remains committed to his decision to run for President.

Discussions between Fonseka and the President have already taken place in Parliament, although the specifics of these conversations remain undisclosed.

Fonseka has also engaged in informal discussions with various diplomats, briefing them on his plans and indicating his intent to foster strong relations with India, China, and the US.

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