At the Farewell ceremony, Gen. Fonseka paid a tribute to all the soldiers, injured and maimed in the battle field who helped to save the country in the war, while condoling with those who died. Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka in his final address before retiring from service said that politics must be kept out of the Army.
However, He noted the significant absence of the three armed forces at his farewell ceremony. As such, Gen. Fonseka received the salute of the three forces without the presence of their commanders. Speaking to the media after the ceremony Gen. Fonseka said he was retiring from his position as CDS with the contentment and delight that he had fulfilled his service to the people in the country to the utmost.
But the Director of the Media Center for National Security (MCNS) Lakshman Hulugala told, It is neither tradition nor compulsory for the commanders of the three armed forces to be present at a farewell ceremony of an outgoing commander. Mr. Hulugala that it is the Chief of Defense Staff’s office that bears responsibility for organizing the farewell ceremony and added that the absence of the three armed forces could be attributed to the fact that the ceremony was a ‘sudden’ one and put together with such short notice.
The absence of the three forces chiefs at the farewell ceremony of General Sarath Fonseka at the Army headquarters this morning raised eyebrows. When the General was asked to comment on it he said he will comment at the appropriate time.