Anoma Fonseka, wife of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka
who was recently stripped of his ranks following a judgment by a Court Martial speaks to Daily Mirror online about her future political career, her relationship with the Rajapakse`s and her continuing struggle to secure the release of her detained husband.
Q: What was your family`s immediate reaction when they heard the ruling of the first Court Martial and President Rajapakse`s approval to strip your husband of all military rank?
Actually my family and I expected this ruling because there is no law and order in our country. From the very beginning, the government made various stories about my husband and I knew they were going to do something to him. This has been done as an act of revenge. However I believe that somehow the truth will come out and one day they will repent for all what they are doing to my husband now.
Q: What was Mr. Fonseka`s immediate reaction after he was stripped of the title of `General` and had all his medals taken away from him?
(Laughs) More than me, he expected this. But we both believe that no matter how hard the government tries, they cannot erase him from the peoples` hearts. Today, all Sri Lanka
ns know who my husband is and what he has done for this country. The people also know that he did his maximum for the country and the government cannot change this.
We do not care what they do now as my two children, my husband and I are fully satisfied for what he did for this nation. As his wife, I know how much we sacrificed when he was in the army. The government cannot do anything to us as the name `Sarath Fonseka` has been embedded in our history.
Q: Are you going to appeal against the First Court Martial ruling? If so when and why haven`t you done it yet?
Yes we are definitely going to appeal and our lawyer`s are working on that.
Q: Do you think there is a hidden hand behind the arrest of Sarath Fonseka?
Yes there definitely is but I cannot comment further on that right now.
Q: Mr. Fonseka`s pension facilities have also been stopped. And there are allegations that the monies which you all have are illegal. Are these allegations true and how are you going to continue?
Actually both my daughters are in the United States
. We have friends and relatives around us who will help us. However everyone will agree when I say that stopping his pension was a very unfair move by this government. He dedicated 40 years of his life to this country and he always saved whatever he received during this period. These monies do not belong to the President or his brother. It belongs to him. By alleging that these are all illegal monies, they want to mentally torture my husband. But he is too strong to be tortured this way. Those who are doing this will suffer as every religion says that if you do wrong, it strikes back on you. These are not illegal monies.
Q: Now that Mr. Fonseka has been stripped of his medals, are you willing to return them back?
Actually now I am living in a new house. After the Presidential Elections, when the government came behind us we had to shift for our own safety. We took only our clothes and right now I do not have anything more than that in this house. We want to live a very simple life now and if anyone asks for it back, I will have to tell them that I do not have it near me. Any anyway why should I return these medals back because now he is a retired man. He received these medals when he was in the army and for the services he rendered to this nation. The people who are asking for this back have not earned these medals, it is my husband who earned this. So we do not have to return it back.
Q: Sarath Fonseka was the former Army Commander so as his wife, you would have interacted with President Rajapakse and his family. What was your relationship like with the President`s family before your husband fell apart with the government?
Actually we were very good friends with the Rajapakse`s when my husband was the Army Commander. And to date, I still respect the First Lady, Madam Rajapakse. She is a very good lady but most of all she is a very good mother
to her three sons. I adore her and will always respect her. But I do not want to comment about the other Rajapakse`s.
Q: Are you going to continue your fight in getting your husband released and how far are you going to go to make him a free man again?
I am going to try my best to do whatever I can to bring my husband back home again. My struggle will not stop.
Q: The UNP
are trying to form an alliance once again to work against the government. If these two parties had worked together since the Presidential election, do you think things would have been different today where Sarath Fonseka`s issue is concerned?
If the UNP was with us, we could have been a stronger opposition and we could have done something to help my husband. Things would have been different today if the UNP had remained with us after the Presidential Election. However it is still not too late. Even now all the opposition political parties can get together and become one. Otherwise this government is going to do whatever they want and we have to stop this and fight against them. There is no democracy in this country and most of the institutions are now politicized. We have to somehow change this.
Q: What are your plans for the future? Right now you are appearing with your husband`s party, the DNA. Do you have plans to join politics?
Actually I do not like politics but at this moment I know I have to do something because of my husband. If the party needs my services and if I can help my husband by being in politics, then yes, I will join politics.
Q: In the future, if Sarath Fonseka continues to remain in detention because of the charges against him, then will you consider taking over your husband`s position in becoming the leader of the DNA?
Once again I repeat that I do not like politics. But if someone tells me I will have to do it to for the sake of my husband, then yes I might even consider that. My only aim is to get my husband out of jail and protect him and if joining politics is going to help me do that, then my answer is a yes.
Right now I fear for my husband`s life because I only visit him to give him his three meals. But he is under their detention so I worry about his safety. I cannot just sit and wait.
Q: Finally, in this struggle, do you fear for your life?
I am a very religious person and I believe that if we have done no wrong, no harm is going to reach us.