Sarath Fonseka, who became a war hero when he lead Sri Lanka’s troops to victory over the separatist and terrorist Tamil Tigers in 2009, awarded the honourary title of the highest ranking military commander, Fonseka is Sri Lanka’s first field marshal now.
Soon after the final defeat of the LTTE guerilla forces, Fonseka became a major opponent of then president Mahinda Rajapakse and the candidate of opposition parties in the presidential elections 2010. After he lost the contest against Rajapakse, he was thrown in prison for two years, due to claims he planned a military plot to overthrow the Rajapakse government. He spent two years in jail and lost the right to contest elections for seven years. Fonseka was also humiliated by stripping of his rank, pension and medals. Fonseka also angered the ruling president by saying he would testify before an international tribunal on war crime charges, claiming that some surrendering Tamil rebels had been killed on the orders of the then defence minister, the president's brother Gotabhaya Rajapakse. The United States considered Fonseka a political prisoner.
After his release from prison, Sarath Fonseka, as founder and leader of the DNP (Democratic National Party) backed the campaign of presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena, who won the presidential elections in January this year against the incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Soon after his inauguration, Sri Lanka’s new president Sirisena cleared Fonseka of all previous allegations. Sri Lanka's government now conferred the highest military rank on Sarath Fonseka agai. President Sirisena awarded Fonseka the new honourary title at a state ceremony in the capital, repeating, he was unjustly treated by the previous government.
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