Putting an end to the speculation, Sarath Fonseka has confirmed that he will be running for president. Fonseka, not too long ago, was a close ally and a valuable component in Rajapaksa's military, but now the military man appears to have forgotten his ethics, and taken to politics as a duck would to water.
New York Times,
“We have done away with the terrorists,” General Fonseka told reporters at a news conference on Sunday. “But now you can’t leave the country in the hands of a tin-pot dictator.”
The Fonsekas and the Rajapaksas are known to be close family friends. A local newspaper reported that before Fonseka handed in his resignation, Mrs. Fonseka had personally called the first lady to break the news to her.
Fonseka admitted in his resignation letter that he was unhappy with his promotion as Chief of Defence Staff. He felt he deserved more. It is clear now that his choice to run for president of Sri Lanka is not for the greater good of any Sri Lankan, but more to get back at the Rajapaksa administration.
War hero or not, why would anyone vote for a candidate running with that kind of motivation? If Fonseka thinks the public would blindly support a former Sri Lanka Army General looking for revenge, he may well have another thing coming.
If Rajapaksa is as equally vindictive, we can expect some fireworks ahead of the polls.
The panel which Rajapaksa appointed to investigate allegations of war crimes by the US is due to release it's findings in December 2009 - next month. It would be hilarious if the investigations found General Sarath Fonseka guilty of negligence in his role as commander of the army.
Although the repercussions of such would be far reaching, I wouldn't rule it out. This is Sri Lanka after all!
Through all the media frenzy over the Fonseka v Rajapaksa match up, a third candidate has quietly stepped into the race.
Vickramabahu Karunaratne has been nominated as the Left Front Candidate for the coming presidential elections. He has been invited to stand for the elections by Leftist organisations not aligned with the government, several people’s organizations and intellectuals.
What's interesting is the backing the third candidate received from the Tamil Tigers' official website, Tamilnet.
After supporting the federal aspiration of Eezham Tamils in the 1956 elections, now for the first time left political parties led by Sinhala leaders have come forward to field a common presidential candidate, Dr. Vikramabahu Karunaratne, with a main programme recognising Tamil Nation, its homeland in the north and east, its right to self-determination and autonomy as solution for the unity of the island.
With a third candidate who has the backing and the blessing of the LTTE now in the race, there could well be a twist in this tale. Whatever happens, the 2010 elections promises to be a thriller!