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S.Lanka’s ex-military chief will run for presidency

[AFP, Saturday, 28 November 2009 11:34 No Comment]

General Sarath Fonseka Sri Lanka’s ex-military chief has said he plans to run for the presidency in elections in January in a bid to unseat President Mahinda Rajapakse.

"I am definitely coming forward to defeat the president," former general Sarath Fonseka told a group of lawyers and journalists late Friday.

Fonseka, 58, was expected to formally announce his candidacy in the presidential elections to be held January 26 at a news conference set for Sunday.

His expected declaration comes after he won the backing of the two main opposition parties earlier in the week.

Rajapakse, 64, called the election two years ahead of schedule in a move aimed at helping the government tap public goodwill following the end in May of the country’s bloody 37-year separatist conflict.

Fonseka, 58, is considered a war hero for having crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels who were fighting for an independent homeland.

"I have never lost a battle. I can win this one (the presidency) too," the island’s only four-star general said.

[Full Coverage]

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