Immunity Illusion: Field Marshal’s La La Land Tragicomedy

Step into the surreal world of 'La La Land' as the one and only Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka masterfully wields the art of parliamentary immunity.

2 mins read
[Sri Lanka Guardian Illustration]

by Our Defence Affairs Correspondent

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the mesmerizing theatre of Sri Lankan politics, where the one and only Field Marshal, Sarath Fonseka, dons the cloak of parliamentary immunity to perform his enigmatic act on the stage of ‘La La Land.’ As the curtains rise on this two-day debate extravaganza, prepare to witness a spectacle that combines privilege, deception, and a dash of humour.

Fonseka’s performance, veiled beneath the parliamentary guise, can only be described as a symphony of spurious narratives—a bewildering tale that leaves us pondering the true motives behind this political pandemonium. What does he hope to achieve with this web of social disinformation? The answer remains as elusive as a mirage in the desert.

Yet, the most bewildering aspect of this show is the moral ambiguity that shrouds a man of such stature in our nation’s security apparatus. It’s a bitter pill to swallow when the highest-ranking security officer flirts with the boundaries of decorum and integrity.

In the spotlight, Fonseka wields his rhetorical sword with abandon, targeting the Director General of the State Intelligence Service, Suresh Sallay. What unfolds is a tapestry woven from the threads of five fundamentally false claims, each more audacious than the last.

The opening act of this grand theatrical performance centers on Fonseka’s audacious claim before the Presidential Commission: that Suresh Sallay and Zahran shared phone calls in 2012. But in the theatre of truth, this assertion crumbles like a poorly crafted prop. It’s a fabrication so blatant that even the most gullible in our audience raise an eyebrow.

If, against all odds, Fonseka’s words turn out to be more than mere fiction, he ought to step out of the shadows and present this damning evidence to the appropriate authorities. Such a grave accusation warrants formal measures, not the theatrical antics of hiding behind parliamentary immunity. In this hallowed arena of governance, truth should reign supreme, untouched by the whims of political theatre.

Moving on to the second act, Fonseka alleges that Zahran received payments from Army Intelligence, a claim utterly devoid of evidence. From 2006 to 2019, eight different Army Intelligence Directors held sway. Both the Army Intelligence Division and the Ministry of Defense assert unequivocally that no funds were funnelled to Zahran or the Easter attack culprits during their tenures. It’s a lamentable episode when personal vendettas lead to the unjust vilification of others.

Act three unravels with Fonseka’s falsehood that Suresh Sallay faced dismissal from the army during his own tenure as army commander. Yet, in 2006, Sallay was a mere major stationed at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in France, diligently dismantling the LTTE’s international network. His achievements led to the capture of 21 LTTE members in Europe, a monumental step in crippling the organization’s global influence. Those who doubt these facts can consult DBS Jeyaraj’s enlightening account in Frontline Magazine (Read: French crackdown – https://frontline.thehindu.com/world-affairs/article30191158.ece).  It’s a shame that some remain blind to past heroics, opting instead for groundless criticism.

The fourth act accuses Suresh Sallay of a sinister partnership with Major General Boniface Perera in a plot dating back to 2010 in the North-Central part of the Island nation. However, during 2010, Suresh Sallay was stationed at the Army Headquarters, a simple fact easily verified. Tarnishing the reputation of distinguished officers without due diligence is not only indecent but also casts a dark shadow over Field Marshal Fonseka’s own legacy.

The grand finale sees Fonseka weaving the tale of a clandestine meeting between Suresh Sallay and Maithripala Sirisena in India in 2019. Yet, Suresh Sallay was then diligently pursuing his education at the National Defense College of India, holding no official office. The alleged meeting, much like the rest of this performance, is but a mirage in the sands of truth.

And so, we find ourselves amidst a tragicomedy, where the actors know they’re playing their parts, the audience knows it’s all a farce, yet the show goes on. Such is the circus of politics, where jokers and their tragicomedy reign supreme in La La Land.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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