Coup fears led to my replacement, says Fonseka

Coup fears led to my replacement, says Fonseka


In his resignation letter, Fonseka said the Sri Lankan government had asked neighbouring India on October 15 to place its troops on alert to be deployed on the island, in the event of a coup.

“This action did tarnish the image and reputation gained by the Sri Lankan army as a competent and professional organisation which was capable of defeating a terrorist group,” the ex-Chief of Defence Staff said in a letter which could foreshadow an election battle with the president.

A war hero at home for leading the army to a total victory against the Tamil Tigers, Fonseka quit his post as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on Thursday night — a ceremonial position he was given after the campaign.

Opposition parties expect Fonseka to challenge Rajapaksa in a presidential election, expected early next year.

In a no-holds barred letter titled ‘Factors affecting my retirement from the regular force of the Army’, the former army chief said he was promoted to the new post with basically no authority due to misleading reports of a likely coup in the island nation.

“Various agencies misled Your Excellency (Rajapaksa) by stating that a coup was possible immediately after the victory over the LTTE, which obviously led to a change of command in spite of my request to be in command until the army celebrated its 60th anniversary.

This fear psychosis of a coup is well known among the defence circle,” Fonseka said in his letter to the Sri Lankan president.

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