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Why Lankan war hero Fonseka and Rajapaksa broke up

By Ameen Izzadeen
November 13, 2009 19:20 IST
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Gen Sarath FonsekaSenior Sri Lankan journalist Ameen Izzadeen explains why the popular general and popular President fell out just months after masterminding the end of the LTTE.

Sri Lankans now know why their highly-respected war hero wants to quit his top military post and serve the people in some other capacity, possibly as their next President. According to a leaked version of what is said to be General Sarath Fonseka's retirement letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, it all boils down to the government's fears of a military coup and its mistrust of Sri Lanka's first and only serving four-star general.

The tone of the letter indicates that the general was highly perturbed when the government last month alerted India on a possible coup in Sri Lanka and sought its help to thwart it if it happened.

The letter fired a 16-canon salvo at the President -- a kind of you did this to me, you humiliated me, you mistrusted me and you gave me a post that had no command responsibility.

The letter pointed to the recent replacement of soldiers loyal to General Fonseka with soldiers from a regiment which was close to President's brother and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for security duty at army headquarters.

It also had a political tone aimed at wooing the Tamils, many