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Sri Lankan opposition leader Sarath Fonseka arrested

[Times Online UK, Monday, 8 February 2010 17:13 No Comment]

Fonseka_682079a Sarath Fonseka, the main opposition candidate in last month’s presidential election in Sri Lanka, was tonight arrested at his party’s offices.

General Fonseka, a retired four-star general who lost to President Mahinda Rajapakse in the January 26 vote, was seized by military police who stormed the office of his People’s Liberation Front (JVP).

“They forcibly took away General Fonseka while he was having a discussion with three other senior opposition leaders,” a JVP spokesman said.

“He was dragged away in a very disgraceful manner in front of our own eyes,” added Rauff Hakeem, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

The Government would not comment on General Fonseka’a arrest but the Sunday Times of Sri Lanka reported yesterday that he could be hauled before a court martial to answer charges of plotting a coup to topple the government.

The newspaper said that the Government had sought legal advice on using a military court to fast-track proceedings against General Fonseka, who challenged President Rajapakse in the January 26 election.

General Fonseka led troops to a crushing victory over Tamil Tiger rebels in May last year, ending a decades-long separatist campaign by the guerrillas.

[Full Coverage]

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