Sri Lankan President awards Field Marshal title to former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka
Former Sri Lankan Army Chief Sarath Fonseka was conferred the highest military rank of Field Marshal by the Government.
He was awarded this title by President Maithripala Sirisena at a state ceremony held in the Colombo. With this Fonseka became the first Sri Lankan to receive this highest military title which is honorary in nature.
- Fonseka is credited for being the force behind ending the 26-year Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009 by defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels.
- After retiring from Army, Fonseka had entered politics and had contested 2010 Presidential election against then President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
- Following the controversial defeat in this election he was court martialled and was jailed for alleged corruption and treason charges by then Rajapaksa led government.
- But the new government led President Maithripala Sirisena after coming to power in January 2015 had dropped all the charges against Fonsek and had reinstated his court martialled army rank using the executive powers.
Sarath Fonseka’s military career
- He had joined the Sri Lanka Army in 1970 as a cadet officer. Since then during his 40-year career he had served various posts in Army.
- He was 18th Commander i.e. Chief of the Sri Lanka Army and was in office from 2005 to 2009.
- Fonseka also has served as Chief of Defence Staff of Sri Lanka. He was in office from July 2009 to November 2009.