In touch with Fonseka over his security: US


"We are watching carefully and we have been in touch with General Fonseka regarding his security", US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley said in Washington.
On the fears expressed by the defeated candidate, Crowley said, "Well, he had expressed public concerns and I think the (US) Embassy (in Colombo) reached out to him and just remain– we'll remain in contact with him to clarify what his future intentions are and to be helpful if that's appropriate".

On whether Fonseka had a US residency, Crowley said "Yes, he does".
The US Official said the Sri Lankan President should move towards a political reconciliation after his victory.

"But we think that President Rajapaksa now has an opportunity to continue to move forward with the political reconciliation and start the process of devolution to the provinces" Crowley said.

"He (Fonseka) feels threatened that he could get arrested on false  charges of planning a coup", his close aide told PTI here.

"It is important that the former army chief's security is reinstated as the 72 security personnel who guarded him are the ones whom Fonseka fully trusts and they are necessary for his security", the aide said.
"They (the security guarding him) have been with him for years and he wants them back", the aide said.

The army has maintained that Fonseka's security cover was withdrawn after the Supreme Court ruled that the former army chief would get army protection only till the Presidential elections that ended on January 27 after the declaration of the results.
Secretary Crowley welcomed the steps Rajapaksa has taken towards political reconciliation process and noted that the election itself was a step forward.
"So with this election comes an opportunity to continue to work to heal the breach that exists within Sri Lankan society," the Assistant Secretary said.
"And I think we commend the people of Sri Lanka for a 72 per cent turnout. That is something that is truly remarkable", he said.

"I think it's important to recognise that this was the first nationwide election in decades," Crowley said, adding that the participation was high, the process was generally peaceful, though there were incidents of violence which the US was very aware of.
"I think it is remarkable when you consider what Sri Lanka has come through recently. There is a process for resolving electoral disputes. We're obviously aware that there have been claims of victory and counterclaims," Crowley said.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)