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Fonseka’s wife goes to court

[Express Buzz, Wednesday, 10 February 2010 16:47 No Comment]

The arrest of Gen.Sarath Fonseka, former Sri Lankan Army Commander and joint opposition candidate in the last Presidential election on treason charges on Monday, has sparked protests in various quarters.

Groups of people holding a protest demonstration in Amparai town in south eastern Sri Lanka, and in Galle in the deep south, were teargassed by the police.

At the Supreme Court in Colombo, a Fundamental Rights violation petition challenging the “arbitrary” arrest and detention of the General was filed on his behalf by his wife, Anoma Fonseka, and Shamila Perera, the Secretary of his party, the New Democratic Front (NDF).

The petition stated that, commencing immediately on his proclamation as the common opposition candidate in the Presidential election, there were security threats to him from those opposing his candidature.

These included direct and indirect threats from the Rajapaksa administration which was  fielding the incumbent President as its candidate for re-election.

The petition said that there had been an infringement of Fonseka’s freedom of thought and conscience; freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment; right to equality and equal protection of the law; freedom from discrimination on the grounds of political opinion; freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention; freedom from unlawful detention; freedom of speech and expression; and freedom of association, guaranteed in the constitution of the country.

WHAT LTTE COULD NOT DO WAS DONE: OPPOSITION

On Tuesday, the leaders of the joint opposition, which backed Fonseka in the Presidential election, said that by getting Maj.Gen. Sumith Manawadu to “abuse , assault and abduct” Fonseka from his Colombo office on Monday,  the Rajapaksa government had done what the LTTE “dearly wanted to do, but couldn’t.”

"In arresting Gen. Fonseka, the government has no doubt greatly pleased the pro-LTTE supporters all over the world, by doing what the LTTE failed to do in April 2006 ,when it tried to kill him with a suicide bomber,” the leaders of the United National Party, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, said.

“The administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa by its actions of Monday night, has shown its hand. Today the nation has woken up to who the true Idi Amin avatar is, and the citizenry is still reeling from the shock of how far this government will go to exact revenge.”

“We believe that this act is one of vengeance aimed at punishing Gen. Fonseka for daring to contest the presidential election held last month, challenging the incumbent, “ the leaders said.

“The military arrest of Gen. Fonseka, who is a retired army official and therefore a civilian, is not only unlawful but barbaric and extrajudicial and is a clear sounding of the death knell for democracy in this country,” the leaders contended.

ASSASSINATION BID?

“We have good reason to believe that the extrajudicial arrest of Gen. Fonseka may be followed up with assassination while in custody, on a trumped up charge that he was attempting to escape or attack,” the opposition leaders claimed.

“The man they arrested was the choice of at least 4.2 million Sri Lankans at the recent Presidential Election which is perceived by many to be one of the most fraudulent elections in the history of Sri Lanka. General Fonseka was also in the process in the process in filing legal action against this election when his kidnapping took place,” they noted.

APPEAL TO ARMY NOT TO OBEY ILLEGAL ORDERS

In an appeal to the members of the army not to obey what they called “illegal” orders, the opposition leaders said: “We call upon the service personnel to refrain from carrying out illegal orders, no matter who dispenses them, in a bid to do your part towards protesting what is left of democracy in this country.”

TOP BUDDHIST PRIEST CONDEMNS ARREST

On Tuesday, the Prelate (Chief Incumbent) of the Malwatte Buddhist monastry in Kandy, Venerable Tibbotottuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thero, said that it was a “grave crime to imprison a war hero who had done an immense service to Sri Lanka in its fight to eradicate terrorism.”  

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