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Gen. Sarath Fonseka to be released over the weekend

Gen Sarath Fonseka

By Shamindra Ferdinando

General Sarath Fonseka, former commander of the Sri Lanka Army and defeated presidential candidate will be freed over the weekend, according to highly placed sources.

Tiran Alles MP

Sources close to President Mahinda Rajapaksa last night told The Island that the Cabinet had endorsed the President’s decision to release the four-star General consequent to an understanding with Democratic National Alliance (DNA) MP Tiran Alles.

Responding to a query, sources said they were confident that everything could be finalized over the weekend and Gen. Fonseka would be freed.

Asked whether he was confident of securing the DNA leader’s release, MP Alles told The Island last night that President Rajapaksa had met Mrs. Fonseka at his residence on Wednesday night. Describing the meeting as cordial, he expressed confidence that Gen. Fonseka’s release could take place in a matter of a few days. The meeting between the President and Mrs. Fonseka took place after Alles had visited General Fonseka, now receiving treatment for a lung condition at the Nawaloka Hospital.

Alles initiated a one-on-one dialogue with the President late last year to explore the possibility of securing General Fonseka’s release, though many were sceptical about a successful outcome. Well informed sources said that both parties had felt that a settlement could be reached in spite of interested parties trying to undermine their efforts.

When contacted last night, representatives of both sides did not want to go into details of the powwow between the President and Mrs. Fonseka and the modalities of Gen. Fonseka’s release.

The AFP yesterday quoted Mrs. Fonseka as having said, following her meeting with the President, that her husband would be freed unconditionally at the earliest opportunity

“I was promised that my husband will be cleared of all charges and released unconditionally,” she was quoted as having said.

Gen. Fonseka’s jail term technically ends in July 2013. courtesy: The Island

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