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.

PTI



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

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