Sri Lankan monks demand ex-Army chief's release

10:33, April 04, 2010      

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A group of Buddhist monks led by Sri Lanka's leftist party JVP or the People's Liberation Party started fast unto death on Saturday demanding an early release of the detained former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, officials from the JVP told reporters.

The officials said the monks will continue the fast unto death until the government gives an assurance on Fonseka's release.

The monks, who are taking part in the campaign in Colombo's business district said Fonseka's life is under threat as he needs frequent medical advice after he was exposed to a suicide bomb blast of the rebels at the Army Headquaters in Colombo in 2006.

Fonseka, who was defeated at the January presidential polls, is contesting the parliamentary polls on April 8 from the JVP led Democratic National Alliance.

He is in military custody for participating in political activities while in uniform as well as wrongdoings in arms procurement.

Meawhile, the government said it would take full responsibility of Fonseka's health and Navy medical specialists have been assigned to look after his health following a request made by his wife Anoma Fonseka.

Anoma, who is permitted to visit Fonseka has complained to Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya that Fonseka was ill and needed special care.

But military spokesman Prasad Samarasingha has disputed her claims saying Fonseka is in good health and he is being given all required medical facilities.



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