It was a narrow window of freedom after 72 days in military custody. But the couple of hours that former army chief Sarath Fonseka got in Parliament to attend its first session on Thursday as a new MP was enough for him to launch an attack on President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
“What the country needs is democracy, rule of law, personal freedoms and media freedom,” Fonseka was quoted by AFP as having said in Parliament. “I am glad I was able to come here and raise these issues as I am being unjustly held,” he added.
It was Fonseka’s first public appearance since February 8 when he was arrested by the military.
Fonseka addressed the Parliament as the leader of the Democratic National Alliance.
Fonseka was sworn in as a member of the parliament before the Speaker at the opening session of the seventh parliament.
Today’s session also saw Rajapaksa’s elder brother, Chamal Rajapaksa, taking over as Speaker.