Fonseka vows not to leave war to successor
[TamilNet, Sunday, 13 January 2008, 06:27 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt. Gen. G.S.C Fonseka, due for retirement this year, has claimed that he would not leave the war to his succeeding commander, at a New Year party hosted by him Friday evening to select local and international journalists at his residence at Bauddhaloka Mawatha in Colombo. Fonseka was being tactfully upbeat as news of an explosion inside Fort Railway station threatened to dampen spirits at the cocktail party.
SLA Commander Sarath Fonseka [Library Photo]
Sarath Fonseka told journalists that January was going to be a news-worthy month to them. Meanwhile, news of the explosion at Fort Railway station reached the commander, so he downplayed the seriousness of the security lapse. He told curious journalists that is was a "minor blast" and that the LTTE would not stoop down to do such a small work.
Journalists who attended the party, quoted him as saying, "My term of office is coming to an end this year and I will not leave this war to the succeeding army commander." He called upon them to imagine the successes of the SLA, based on its performance in the last one-and-a-half years.
The SLA commander also expressed his hope that the LTTE could be eradicated within another year. He added that in the past three months, about 500 Tigers had been killed every month and that presently at least 20 Tigers were being killed everyday, he claimed. He predicted surefire military success if the trend continued.
Fonseka also boasted that the SLA was ten times mightier now than it was when it captured the East. However, he also admitted that in the past one-and-a-half years, 800 soldiers have died fighting and about 4000 have been injured.
Lt. Gen. Fonseka came to prominence in the peace process when, in December 2002, he issued a public letter defying the CFA and refusing to withdraw from High Security Zones (HSZs) as stipulated in the February 2002 agreement between the GoSL and the LTTE.
Fonseka, who joined the SLA in 1970, was appointed the Commander of the SLA in December 2005. He was seriously wounded in a bomb explosion in front of the military hospital in Slave Island on 25 April 2006.
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