Sri Lanka govt wants Sarath Fonseka as defense chief

Sarath Fonseka

Apr 26, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s national government has offered ex-Army chief Sarath Fonseka the task of upholding discipline in the country by taking a key role in law and order under him.

At Tuesday’s cabinet meeting it was proposed to appoint him either as Army Commander or as Chief of Defense Staff, Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senarathne said.

Senarathne said recent protests that slowed down economic activity in the country and created various difficulties for people has led to this decision.

“Discipline of the country is deteriorating. It should be maintained by security forces, it is not a duty of ministers,” Senarathne told reporters today.

“So his primary task will be to uphold the discipline of the country. Sarath Fonseka expressed his willingness if it comes with relevant powers and authority.”

Field Marshal Fonseka who is currently the Regional Development Minister of the cabinet will have to vacate his Parliament seat received from the National List in order to be a fit for the new post.

Under the constitution, President Maithripala Sirisena is responsible for appointing the Army Commander or Chief of Defense Staff.

Earlier this month, Fonseka was expected to be appointed as Assistant Leader of the UNP but this was withdrawn after party internal issues.