Consultant Physician and Chest Specialist Dr. Vajira Tennekoon who examined former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka has recommended a low dust environment and clinical reviews every month for Mr. Fonseka.
The recommendations were handed over in a medical report submitted to the High Court Trial-at-Bar hearing the ‘White Flag’ case against Mr. Fonseka on Thursday.
|Mrs. Anoma Fonseka and her daughter Aparna coming out of Welikada Prison after visiting former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka yesterday. Aparna showed her father her degree certificate. Recently, the ex-general lamented that he could not attend his daughter’s graduation ceremony in the US, when a group of opposition MPs visited him. Pic by Sanka Vidanagama
Mr. Fonseka is accused of having stated in an interview with The Sunday Leader newspaper that the Defence Secretary had ordered not to spare any of the LTTE cadres surrendering even if they were coming with white flags during the last stages of the military assault on the guerrillas in May, 2009.
He is charged with making a false statement to the Sunday Leader, arousing communal and anti-government feelings among the public and creating disputes among them.
The Trial-at-Bar consists of Judges Deepali Wijesundara (President), W.T. M. P.B. Warawewa and M.S Razeen.
Dr. Tennekoon in his report said that he had examined Mr. Fonseka in accordance with a request of the Trial-at-Bar.
He said Mr. Fonseka had complained of a recurrent and troublesome cough, phlegm in the throat and hoarseness of voice.
“The symptoms had been troubling him for over a year, but had worsened over the past few days. He was unable to speak for even a few minutes without a cough interrupting his speech,” the report said.
“He has been on treatment (initiated and supervised by me) for intermittent Bronchial Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis over an eight to ten year period. However, the treatment has not been optimal or supervised for the past year or two,” he added.
He said Mr. Fonseka had severe chest and abdominal trauma following a blast injury a few years back.
“During the interview, he was coughing and clearing his throat intermittently,” he added.
Dr. Tennekoon noted that Mr. Fonseka's chest and abdomen revealed healed scars of the previous injury.
The blood pressure was normal at 120/85, heart rate 76/min respiration normal at 18/min.
The report said Mr. Fonseka was seen by ENT Surgeon Dr. W Ratnayake who confirmed an acute laryngitis of the vocal cords, aggravated by a post-nasal drip.
Dr. Tennekoon has recommended a voice rest for one or two weeks for Mr. Fonseka.
Earlier, Mr. Nalin Ladduwahetti, the Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of Mr. Fonseka, informed Court that the Defence intends bringing Contempt of Court charges against The Sunday Leader Editor Frederica Jansz who has reported on matters related to the case, despite an order not to report them until the trial was concluded. He was drawing reference to an article published in The Sunday Leader last week under the title ‘Lasantha, The President and Sarath Fonseka’.
Mr. Ladduwahetti told Court that the Defence hopes to raise the issue of charges after the dock statement by Mr. Fonseka is completed and also after the evidence of the defence witnesses is completed.
He said that though he intended to raise contempt charges later, he was keeping the Court informed about the matter.
At this point Deputy Solicitor General Buweneka Aluvihare said he did not want to comment on the matter as the Defence has not made a formal request to this effect yet.
The next hearing is tomorrow.