Canadian Tamils support former Sri Lankan army chief

Canadian Tamils support former Sri Lankan army chief

"We had problems with Fonseka as a military general, but we have no differences with him as a  politician. He has been treated unjustly and jailed by a kangaroo court at the direction of (President) Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family clique which is running the country,'' Canadian Tamil Congress national spokesman David Poopalapillai told IANS.

He said, "The treatment of the former military chief shows how cruelly this dictator government has treated its opponents, including Tamils. We in the Tamil diaspora will fight for the release of not only of thousands of Tamils but also Fonseka.''

Poopalapillai said the Tamil diaspora was taking this case to the international bodies to demand tough measures against Colombo.

"Sri Lanka has sunk into a medieval monarchy under the Rajapaksa clan.  Unless the southern people who voted this regime into power wake up, Sri Lanka is gone for ever,'' the Tamil Canadian leader said.

By jailing Fonseka, he added, the Sri Lankan government has insulted the four million people who voted for him in the presidential elections in January.

"This show that this regime has no regard for human rights or respect for democracy. Sri Lanka is in the grip of a dictatorship that has defied international opinion.''

Fonseka, who led the Sri Lankan forces in wiping out the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, fell out with President Rajapaksa soon after the conflict ended and contested the January presidential elections.  But soon after his defeat in the elections, he was arrested and stripped of his rank and pension benefits last month by a military court which also convicted him to three years in jail.

However, Rajapaksa has reduced the jail term to 30 months.