I fulfilled an obligation to Sarath Fonseka Ketagoda
December 19, 2014 05:02 pm
Former Deputy Leader of the Democratic Party (DP) MP Jayantha Ketagoda, who recently joined the UPFA and pledged support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, says that he did not think about himself when he crossed over to the government.
“I didn’t think about myself and leave. If I thought about myself I should have stayed there because I was the Deputy Leader,” he told reporters in Colombo today (19).
Ketagoda, who took over the parliamentary seat of DP Leader Sarath Fonseka due to the latter’s imprisonment, stated that when he expressed willingness to support the President, he firstly asked whether the court cases against the former Army Commander could be withdrawn.
“I asked whether the cases against Sarath Fonseka can be withdrawn. There are several cases against him. There is a case against his son-in-law. I asked whether these can be withdrawn,” he said.
When inquired as to whether that would happen, Ketagoda said: “It will definitely happen.”
The MP stated that he made a request to the President to give that freedom to the former Commander of the Sri Lanka Army according to his service to the country and that Rajapaska in turn assured he would look into the matter.
Ketagoda said he also talked about Fonseka’s pension, a land dispute involving him and further requested, if possible, to release Rs 70 million in campaign funds received by the former Presidential Candidate which have been frozen in a bank account.
“I fulfilled an obligation to him (Sarath Fonseka). If not I could have made a different request and ask for a Ministerial portfolio as I came.
“That is the only thing I asked for. I did it as an obligation.”
Incidentally Sarath Fonseka’s son-in-law Danuna Thilakaratne, who is an accused in the Hicorp fraud case, was released on bail after he surrendered to the Colombo High Court this morning.
Asked whether this too had a connection to the MP’s discussions and crossover, he simply replied as “maybe”.
Inquired as to whether such an occurrence confirms that certain high-ranking members of the government have taken the law into their own hands, Ketagoda responded by saying that the President has the power to grant pardon and immunity.
it has nothing to do with taking law into own hands or influencing the judiciary, he emphasized.