Sri Lanka’s former army chief and the Opposition’s presidential candidate, Sarath Fonseka, on Saturday took his campaign to the Tamil heartland of Jaffna.
Fonseka, the main opponent of incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 26 polls, visited a Hindu temple, besides addressing a rally along with former Prime Minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe. Fonseka also met Jaffna’s Roman Catholic Bishop, Thomas Savundranayagam, a spokesman for his office said.
It was in Jaffna in 1983 where the ambush of 13 soldiers had triggered ethnic riots and the 26-year-old war, which ended with the decimation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May 2008.
Both Fonseka and Rajapaksa are from Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese community and are vigorously wooing the Tamils and Muslims. Political experts say that the two leaders would split the Sinhalese vote and the voting patterns of the minority parties could be decisive.