News / Asia

Losing Presidential Election Candidate Arrested in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's defeated presidential candidate and former army chief Sarath Fonseka addresses reporters in Colombo, 08 Feb 2010
Sri Lanka's defeated presidential candidate and former army chief Sarath Fonseka addresses reporters in Colombo, 08 Feb 2010

Multimedia

Audio

The former Army commander who recently lost Sri Lanka's presidential election has been arrested by the country's military.

Supporters of former General Sarath Fonseka say he was forcibly taken away by heavily armed troops while meeting with several senior opposition leaders at the offices of the Peoples Liberation Front, known as the JVP.

The Sri Lankan military, which Fonseka used to head, says the retired Army four-star general faces fraud charges connected to his tenure in the armed services, which ended last November.

Lakshman Hulugalle is the director general at the military's Media Center for National Security.

"All offenses were done when he was the commander and the chief of defense staff.  So all of those charges will be taken into the military court," he said.

Both Fonseka and President Mahinda Rajapaksa were touted as war heroes for last year's crushing defeat of the rebel Tamil Tigers, ending a quarter century civil war.  But the two allies soon split with the former Army boss contesting the January 26th election, which the incumbent president won by an 18 percent margin.

The loser alleged vote rigging and a plot to kill him after ballots were counted.  The government in turn contended Fonseka was connected to a post-election plot to assassinate President Rajapaksa.  But Sri Lankan government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella says the former general has not been detained in connection with those allegations.

"The conspiracy, we do not know of the details.  It will be revealed after the questioning by the court martial," said  Rambukwella.

International observers have not supported the opposition's contention of rigging of the vote counting.  But human-rights groups have accused the government of intimidating and threatening opposition supporters and some journalists after the election.

Earlier this month, the president fired a number of senior military officers who were termed, by the defense ministry, to be a "direct threat" to national security.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid