Disabled soldiers join protest over jailing Fonseka
Last Updated: Monday, November 08, 2010, 22:35
Colombo: Disabled ex-servicemen joined a demonstration in Colombo today demanding the release of former army chief and opposition leader Sarath Fonseka who has been jailed for 30-months.

War veterans on wheel chairs and crutches joined a demonstration of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), the political party of Fonseka, near the Colombo Town Hall.

The group dispersed peacefully after displaying placards calling for the release of Fonseka whom they described as a "war hero" for crushing Tamil Tiger rebels in May last year.

The demonstration was originally due to be held outside the Welikada prison where Fonseka is incarcerated, but it was shifted after a pro-government group took up the venue for another demonstration.

The pro-government group was protesting a prison riot yesterday when inmates clashed with a raiding police party which was looking for narcotics inside the main Welikada jail where Fonseka is also being held.

At least 51 police and prison guards were wounded, but officials said Fonseka's cell was unaffected.

Fonseka began his 30-month prison sentence on September 30 after a military court declared him guilty of making irregular procurements while he headed the Army.

Fonseka says the government is seeking revenge for his decision to stand against the president Mahinda Rajapakse at January polls.

The former Army chief was stripped of his rank and pension after another court martial found him guilty in August of engaging in politics while in uniform.


First Published: Monday, November 08, 2010, 22:35

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