President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said he was ready to consider a pardon for former army commander Sarath Fonseka if his family makes a request to that effect.
He said such a pardon would be considered under the proper procedure. Speaking at a meeting with newspaper editors at Temple Trees yesterday he said there had been requests from several sectors towards granting a pardon to Sarath Fonseka and confirmed that there had been discussions on this matter and it was not something new.
He said not only MP Tiran Alles but several others had also discussed the matter with him. “It is immaterial whether you deliver a petition with millions of signatures to President Barack Obama or adopt any other strategies but the final decision rests with me,” the President said.
When asked about the request made by the TNA for police powers to the Provincial Councils he reiterated that he was not in favour of granting such powers to PCs as it would lead to various administrative problems, and hinted that even he would have to obtain permission from these councils not only to travel to Jaffna but even to visit Hambantota.
He said the Tamil youth were now being recruited to the police, but it appeared that the TNA was bent on the disruption of the peace process in a similar manner like the LTTE. “The TNA had not agreed to nominate their representatives to the Parliamentary Select Committee, they are more keen on presenting their own agendas at international forums before the release of the LLRC report, and that MPs were kept informed of the implementation process that would be followed.
The President also said the government would respond to the statement by the US State Department on the LLRC report and take necessary measures. (Ranjan Kasthuri)