On Friday, officials said the general had been found guilty by a three-member panel and sentenced to a dishonourable discharge. When an officer is cashiered, he looses the rank and all the awards honours received as a military officer. However, his punishment has to be ratified by the country’s Commander-In-Chief, President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The defence counsels of General Fonseka were not present at the proceedings of the first Court Martial this week, which examined cases relating to General Sarath Fonseka’s alleged involvement in political work while in active service.
Fonseka’s hearing before the three-member tribunal began five months ago. He has the right to appeal the verdict to a civilian court.
The General in a comment to news reporter via his wife Anoma Fonseka said that the decision was handed over by lower ranking military officials to a four star General which was unacceptable and a “humorous joke”.
“I have been given a ruling by four low ranking military officers which is a joke for me and the public. No one can accept this ruling,” Anoma Fonseka said quoting the General.
Meanwhile speaking at a press briefing in Colombo today DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka claimed that his party did not accept the ruling of the first court martial and added that it was a one sided case.
Dissanayake added that only the government side was present for the hearing and the decision was taken when Fonseka’s lawyers were on holiday.