Sri Lanka ex-army chief rejects clemency plea: wife

October 1, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s jailed ex-military chief Sarath Fonseka, who fell out with the president after the army’s crushing defeat of Tamil rebels, has rejected a government offer to consider clemency, his wife said Friday. Anoma Fonseka said she met her husband at Colombo’s Welikada prison where the former four-star general began his 30-month sentence Thursday night after President Mahinda Rajapakse confirmed Fonseka’s court martial conviction.

The former top military commander was held in virtual solitary confinement and had to sleep on the floor in a mosquito-infested cell, but he was not prepared to go on bended knees to the government, she told reporters.

“He told me he has not committed any crime to appeal to the president for clemency,” Anoma Fonseka said after a brief meeting with her husband inside the maximum security prison. “He has no intention of making a plea.”

She said he was responding to a newspaper report which quoted top defence official Gotabhaya Rajapakse, who is also the president’s younger brother, as saying Fonseka should directly make a plea to the president, his former commander-in-chief.

“The president was ready for a re-evaluation of the recommendation of the court martial on t