Fresh protests in Sri Lanka over jailed leader

Protest followed a sit-down demonstration outside the prison where Fonseka is being held.

Updated: Feb 09, 2011, 21:39 PM IST

Colombo: Thousands of opposition
supporters in Sri Lanka on Wednesday held protests demanding the
release of former army chief and defeated presidential
candidate Sarath Fonseka.

The United National Party, the island`s main
opposition group, led a march through Colombo to campaign for
Fonseka, who is serving a 30-month prison sentence after being
arrested by the military a year ago.

Today`s protest followed a sit-down demonstration
outside the prison where Fonseka is being held.

Police were on duty to prevent a repeat of Friday`s
violence when government supporters clashed with Fonseka
loyalists.

Fonseka is widely credited with leading government
troops to a crushing victory over Tamil Tiger rebels and
ending the island`s decades-long separatist war in May 2009.

However, he then fell out with President Mahinda Rajapakse.

A court martial in September found him guilty of
irregularities when he was army chief and also stripped him of
his pension and medals.

PTI