Supporters of Fonseka clash with police demanding his release
Last Updated: Thursday, August 12, 2010, 21:08
Colombo: Supporters of detained Sri Lankan former army chief on Thursday clashed with the police, seeking release of General Sarath Fonseka, who is facing court martial for allegedly dabbling in politics while in uniform and for corrupt defence procurements.

A group led by parliamentarians, including former cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga, belonging to the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), a party formed by Fonseka and his allies to contest in the 2010 general elections, were dispersed by the police using teargas shells at Galle, 115 kms from here, after they sought release of their leader from custody.

"We have been charged with attacking a police station. How can four Parliamentarians do that. We had held a demonstration earlier in Colombo demanding release of Gen. Sarath Fonseka and this is the second time we have undertaken it. The demonstration in Colombo had been peaceful," DNA MP Ranatunga said.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror reported that DNA members Anoma Fonseka (wife of Fonseka), Vijitha Herath, Ranatunga and several others, who participated in the protest, were present when teargas was used by police.

The DNA lawmakers, who commenced their protest in front of the Olcott statue around 3.45 p.m. in Galle, were informed by the police that they couldn?t proceed with the protest.

The protesters continued with their march and had moved towards the Galle bus stand, the Daily Mirror said.

"The commuters who were present at the bus stand were inconvenienced after the buses which were stationed were moved to safety after the teargas and baton charge on the protesters," it said.

"Several DNA members, including MP Herath and Ajith Kumara were detained by the police during the protest in Galle this afternoon," it said.

The former army chief, who led the victory over separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009, fell out with President Mahinda Rajapaksha and entered the January 26 Presidential poll to unseat him.


First Published: Thursday, August 12, 2010, 21:08

comments powered by Disqus