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Fonseka joins UNP, becomes Kelaniya organizer

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Extinguishing his flame symbol former army Commander Sarath Fonseka yesterday joined the United National Party (UNP) and was made Kelaniya Chief Organiser.

Fonseka obtained party membership from party leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe at the UNP party headquarters Sirikotha.

“Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka is a man of great courage. He fought terrorism and never took a step backward. Despite winning the war he did not stop because he understood that true peace can only be won when reconciliation is also achieved,” Wickremesinghe said at the ceremony. 

For a country to move forward it must have progressive leaders, the Prime Minister said, noting that Fonseka’s addition provided more progressive members for the Government. He also recalled Fonseka’s track record in contesting the previous presidential election and his stint in jail. 

“There are people who go around saying they are the true defenders of war heroes. But they jailed the hero that led to the downfall of terrorism in Sri Lanka. So how can they claim to act in the best interests of our armed forces? We believe in a country that has equality and prosperity for all and that is the goal we have all gathered to achieve,” he added. 

The former army commander contested the last Parliamentary election but failed to secure enough votes to enter Parliament. In February, Fonseka, who was earlier the leader of the Democratic Party, was given a vacant seat in Parliament.

Fonseka’s Democratic Party and the UNP had then reached an agreement to work together. Fonseka was also made a Minister in the Government. The move, however, drew angry reactions from Tamil political parties and human rights groups.

Fonseka has been accused by human rights groups of being involved in war crimes during the final stages of the war. 

-Pix by Pradeep Pathirana

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