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Sri Lanka military chiefs dismissed

[BBC, Monday, 1 February 2010 12:39 No Comment]

A group of senior Sri Lankan military officers have been dismissed for what defence officials called being a "threat to national security".

The defence ministry said the officers had been "sent on compulsory retirement".

The move follows a bitter general election campaign in which incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa defeated former army chief Gen Sarath Fonseka.

Both have claimed there have been assassination plots against them.

Gen Fonseka has refused to accept his election defeat, saying his supporters had been intimidated and the result fixed.

A military source told AFP news agency the officers had been sacked to thwart any attempted coup by Gen Fonseka’s supporters inside the military.

In a statement, the defence ministry said an undisclosed number had been "sent on compulsory retirement" because they were considered a "direct threat to national security".

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