Sri Lankan opposition party demands former Army chief's release

09:14, July 22, 2010      

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Thousands of people protested in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo on Wednesday demanding the release of former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka who is currently in military custody over allegedly violating the military law while in uniform.

Addressing the gathering after the protest march, Democratic National Alliance (DNA) legislator Anura Kumara Dissanayake said they will not give up the protest until the government releases Fonseka.

Fonseka who led Sri Lanka Army to defeat Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 broke away from President Mahinda Rajapaksa six months after the war victory and unsuccessfully contested January's presidential election against Rajapaksa.

Dissanayake said the government arrested Fonseka just after the presidential election over fraud charges, but he was elected to parliament in April's general election.

"The government is still detaining Fonseka at the Naval Headquarters in Colombo violating the country's laws," he said, adding that President Rajapaksa is harassing his opponents after the elections.

He said they will not allow the government to change constitution enabling Rajapaksa to be in power for a third term and the DNA will force the government to re-establish democracy and media freedom.

Fonseka's wife Anoma Fonseka said the government is now trying to interfere the judiciary too.

"The government is harassing our family in several fronts, but we will not be discouraged," she said.

Source: Xinhua


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