The Constitution clearly states ways and means of obtaining a Presidential pardon and if bankrupt political parties like the UNP and the JVP want to get former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka released from prison, they could follow the procedures in the Constitution, UPFA General Secretary and Minister of Petroleum Resources Susil Premajayanth says.
`These two parties don t have a platform to campaign from and are attempting to divert the attention of poor masses, who rejected and dumped them in the dustbins of history,` Minister Premajayantha told the media yesterday. `The people are not willing to tolerate such misleading and futile exercises as poster campaigns, press conferences and demonstrations against one of the most popular governments.` Having reposed their faith in President Mahinda Rajapaksa s policies and voted him into power for a second term, the masses were looking forward to the development of the country and prosperity, he said.
All that the President had done was to sanction the Court Martial verdict in his capacity as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
Minister Dulles Alahapperuma said that during his tenure as the Commander of the Army, Sarath Fonseka got 5,088 soldiers and 158 officers convicted through Court Martial inquiries and among them was Major General Sarath Pannipitiya, who was responsible for liberating the Eastern Province.
And if not for that Court Martial decision, Major General Pannipitiya, would have been the present Army Commander and not Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, Minister Alahapperuma said.
SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena and Deputy Minister Dilan Perera also addressed the press conference.