The Department of Elections has registered the new political party of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka.
Additional Elections Commissioner R.M.A.L.Ratnayake told the Colombo Gazette that the ‘Democratic Party’ has been included in the electoral list.
He said that Fonseka has been formally notified that the application to register his political party has been accepted.
The flaming torch will be the symbol associated with the party at future elections, the Elections Department said.
Fonseka said that the registering of his political party is a major step in his next political ambition.
“This is the beginning of a new journey,” Fonseka said. He is scheduled to hold a media briefing tomorrow to reveal his next move.
Former elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake had rejected the application filed by Fonseka to register his party.
However Fonseka challenged the move by filing a petition at the Human Rights Commission in Sri Lanka.
He then submitted a fresh application to the current Elections commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya to register his party.
Last year two key members of his party, Tiran Alles and Arjuna Ranathunga, resigned following differences of opinion with Fonseka.
Some UNP members are expected to support Fonseka’s new political party after they fell out with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.
As Commander of the Army, he played an integral role in ending the war in Sri Lanka in 2009 by defeating the LTTE.
He also survived an assassination attempt when an LTTE suicide bomber attacked his motorcade in April 2006.
Following the end of the war Fonseka was promoted to a four star rank in the Sri Lanka Army, becoming the first serving officer to hold a four star rank.
Fonseka contested under a common opposition during the 2010 Presidential elections, but lost to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Following his election defeat, Fonseka was arrested on 8 February 2010, and the government announced he will be court-martialed for committing “military offences.”
He was found guilty of corrupt military supply deals and sentenced to three years in prison. After serving more than 2 years in prison, Fonseka was released on 21 May 2012. (Colombo Gazette)
Report by Indika Sri Aravinda