Sri Lanka opposition leader held for ‘plotting coup’

Jeremy Page
Times [UK]
8 February 2010

Just nine months ago, General Sarath Fonseka was being hailed as a national hero by most of Sri Lanka as he basked in the glory of the victorious military campaign he led against the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Tonight, however, the former army chief was languishing in jail facing a possible death sentence on charges of plotting a coup against Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President he tried to challenge in an election last month.

Military police dragged the retired four-star General away this evening after storming his campaign office in the historic centre of Colombo as he met opposition leaders to discuss how to dispute the results of the January 26 election.

“He’s been arrested with his personal assistant,” one of the 58-year-old General’s spokesmen, who is now in hiding, told The Times. “We’re shocked, because we thought the dust was starting to settle.”

Rauff Hakeem, one of the General’s opposition allies, said: “He was humiliated and disgraced in the way he was handled. We were just flabbergasted.”

The article continues at the Times.

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