Sri Lanka military court named to try former Army chief

10:38, April 04, 2010      

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The second military court to try the former Army chief and the defeated presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka has been named, officials said Saturday.

Three Major Generals, Milinda Peiris, Lalith Daulugala and Mahinda Hathurusinghe, would now hear the alleged irregularities committed by Fonseka when he chaired the Sri Lanka Army Tender Board on procurements when he headed the Army.

The hearing would take place on April 6.

The members of the original second court martial which sat on March 17 said they would not sit in judgment and asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa to name a new panel instead.

Meanwhile, a group of protesters began a sit in protest Saturday in the Central Colombo's Fort area urging Fonseka's immediate release.

"This person (Fonseka) is a hero and it is a crime to keep him under custody", Venerable Attangane Ratanapala, a leading Buddhist Monk spearheading the protest said.

"It s now over 50 days since General Fonseka was arrested. He must be freed immediately", said Vijitha Herath, general secretary of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), the political alliance led by the former Army chief.

Fonseka who lost the Jan. 26 presidential election to the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa was arrested by the military police on Feb. 8.

Fonseka has petitioned the Supreme Court against the arrest.

He stands as a candidate in the April 8 election to enter parliament from the Colombo district.



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