Ex-army chief Fonseka to run for Sri Lanka presidency

Gen Fonseka says he has never lost a battle yet Sri Lanka’s former military chief says he will run in presidential elections early next year.

General Sarath Fonseka’s move sets the scene for a stand-off with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has called the election two years ahead of schedule.

Gen Fonseka is said to be at odds with the government over who should take credit for Sri Lanka’s final victory over Tamil Tiger rebels in May.

Two main opposition parties say they will support the former top soldier.

The electoral office announced on Friday that presidential polls would be held on 26 January.

‘Never lost’

Speaking to journalists late on Friday, Gen Fonseka said he expected to defeat the president.

"I have never lost a battle. I can win this one too," he said.

He is expected to give a news conference formally announcing his intentions on Sunday.

The 58-year-old is credited by many with securing the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels after decades of conflict.

He stepped down as chief of defence staff in November, amid reports of a falling-out with Mr Rajapaksa.

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