Home » News

Fonseka seeks Buddhist blessings for SLanka presidency

[AFP, Monday, 30 November 2009 11:25 No Comment]

The Sri Lankan general who crushed Tamil Tiger rebels sought Buddhist blessings on Monday, a day after formally declaring his candidacy for January presidential elections.

Sarath Fonseka, 58, visited the Temple of the Tooth, the island’s holiest Buddhist shrine, as he opened his campaign to unseat President Mahinda Rajapakse.

The former military commander, who resigned earlier this month, shook hands with hundreds of supporters outside the temple in the town of Kandy, 115 kilometres (70 miles) east of Colombo, an AFP photographer said.

Fonseka ended weeks of speculation on Sunday by declaring he would run in the January 26 vote against his former commander-in-chief.

"If I am elected, I will scrap the executive presidency within six months, hold parliamentary elections and adopt a new constitution that will uphold democracy, social justice and media freedoms," Fonseka said on Sunday.

The government called the election hoping to take advantage of its popularity following its victory in May over the Tamil Tigers after a decades-long separatist campaign.

Fonseka and Rajapakse, 64, have been at loggerheads over credit for the military success. Fonseka quit after accusing the government of sidelining him and falsely suspecting him of trying to stage a coup.

[Full Coverage]

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.