Lankan govt must respect Fonseka’s rights: US

US says Lankan govt must respect rights of Sarath Fonseka as it underlined need for "greater transparency" in court martial proceedings.

Colombo: The US has said the Sri Lankan
government must respect the rights of detained former army
chief Sarath Fonseka as it underlined the need for "greater
transparency" in the court martial proceedings against the top

"We haven`t seen the specifics of the charges (of
court martials), but we have consistently stressed that it is
important that General Fonseka?s rights be respected and that
he be accorded a full due process," said Robert Blake, the US
Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian
Affairs in reply to a question by a reporter in Washington on
the fate of the former army chief.

Ahead of the Lankan Foreign Minister G.L Peiris`
meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in
Washington, the senior State Department official said he
welcomed Colombo`s decision that the ruling of the military
courts "will be reviewed in civilian courts".

So that there will be greater transparency about not
only the charges, but the process that has been followed in
these cases. So, again, we’ll follow the process of these
cases very carefully," Blake told reporters.

General Fonseka, who was a key aide of President
Mahinda Rajapakse in chalking out the defeat of the
LTTE rebels last May after three decades of bloody conflict,
is facing a court martial trial for allegedly dabbling in
politics while in uniform and for corrupt defence

The former top general quit the military before an
unsuccessful bid to unseat Rajapakse from the presidency in
the January 26 elections.

Fonseka has accused the government of victimising him
on false charges and failing to convert the military success
into a new era of peace in the country.


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