It would not come as a surprise if the methods used to decide the ownership of the war victory are applied again when deciding the ownership of Mr. Fonseka’s release. Of course, nobody expected an epilogue that is less politically motivated or more humane than what one witnesses today. By the looks of it, everyone is hunting for a piece of credit for the release of the former army commander.
Perhaps, being out of prison is a long awaited relief for him. Yet, with it comes the danger of falling prey to the vicious political tides and the unavoidable propensity of becoming a bait of votes.
The political parties that have got the taste of the people’s power Mr. Fonseka is gifted with, will even go to the moon to see that he remains on their side. Hence, under no circumstance should it be that Mr. Fonseka is held hostage due to the massiveness of the numbers who rally behind him.
At a time when the strength of the opposition is constantly questioned and the government is taking the fullest advantage of the lack of competition, the purpose of those who commended and abated his release should not be about climbing onto his shoulders to see the other shore.
Mr. Fonseka too in this venture should be mindful of the fact that, the party leaders who promise sky and earth in exchange for his loyalty, do not do so out of love or respect; for, underneath their sweet-talk lay the inherent cravings of any politician- greed for the crowds and endless love to stay in power at anybody’s expense.
The opposition parties have already made Mr. Fonseka the magic portion through which they seek a revival of power. However, they should not take advantage of his crowd-pulling ability nor should they be using his past glory for their political gains; for, whatever respect people have for him, was not generated by Fonseka the politician, but by Fonseka the former army commander. Their salute is for the man who wore the uniform for 39 years and woke from death to finish an incomplete mission. So much so that, when he ran for the presidential election, there were people who opposed his candidacy, for they knew he was no politician.
Unlike in battlefields, in the political arena, the loyalties shift easily; minions become traitors overnight and vice versa. Mr. Fonseka, who went from a minion to a traitor and a commander to a prisoner will know better than to rub shoulders with every politician who comes seeking his support for every individualist agenda.
It is the hope of people who horded the Welikada Prison premises on Monday that the man who walked out of prison is more mature and far-sighted than the one who walked in many moons ago.
It goes without saying that he is more of a common man than a politician. History screams out enough stories about the former being cheated and betrayed by the latter over and again.