Sri Lanka's former Army Commander General Mahesh Senanayake on Sunday announced his candidacy for the presidential election to be held in November
Senanayake's presidential bid was announced at a rally held here by National People's Movement (NPM), a collective of civil organizations. Addressing the rally, Senanayake, who retired as Army Commander in August, said that Sri Lanka needs an alternative force and he believes he is that alternative.
Senanayake said that politics has ruined the country so there needs to be an independent force to bring about change in the country. The former Army Commander said that his team does not include politicians but academics and other experts.
A loyalist of the former presidential candidate and Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Senanayake was forced to flee Sri Lanka for the fear of reprisals when Fonseka was defeated by Mahinda Rajapaksa in the 2010 presidential election.
In 2015, with the defeat of Rajapaksa by the incumbent Maithripala Sirisena, Senanayake was reinstated in military service and was appointed the chief of staff of the Army.