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S.Lanka’s Fonseka says govt trying to silence him

[AFP, Thursday, 22 April 2010 13:07 No Comment]

Sri Lanka’s former army chief told AFP on Thursday that his ongoing court martial was an attempt by the government to silence him and prevent his "fight for democracy" from the floor of parliament.

Sarath Fonseka emerged briefly from military custody for the opening of parliament, in which he won a seat in elections two weeks ago.

"Today I was restrained because of the ceremonial occasion, but I will make use of the parliament to fight for democracy and to protect the constitution," he told AFP by telephone in the first interview since his arrest on February 8.

His court martial, on charges of engaging in politics while in uniform and involvement in corrupt arms procurement, was adjourned on Tuesday for two weeks.

"They are determined to give a judgement and convict me. They want to convict me and send me to jail because that is the only way to stop me from coming to parliament," he said.

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