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Protest Against Jailing of Former Sri Lankan General

7 years ago264 views

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Supporters of Sri Lanka's former military chief mark the first anniversary of his imprisonment. Sarath Fonseka's wife is spearheading a campaign to have her husband released, after being jailed for misappropriating funds.

Supporters of former Sri Lankan general Sarath Fonseka protest outside a prison in Colombo on Tuesday, one year after his arrest.

Fonseka was jailed after being found guilty of misappropriating funds by a military tribunal and sentenced to 30 months hard labor.

Fonseka's wife is spearheading the campaign to free her husband.

[Anoma Fonseka, Sarath Fonseka's Wife]:
"What I ask from those anti-democratic people in the government from the top to the bottom is to open their eyes and see what the people want. This can happen to me, to another person and to your father or brother. So, stop this dastardly act. The whole world is looking at us. As the people have gathered to protect democracy I ask all those in the government to stop these inhuman acts."

Fonseka had been glorified alongside the Sri Lankan President Mahina Rajapaksa after leading the army to victory over the Tamil Tiger separatists, ending 25 years of civil war in May 2009.

He later fell out with Rajapaksa, blaming the president for falsely accusing him of plotting a coup. He soon quit the army to run against his former commander-in-chief in presidential elections.

While he lost to Rajapaksa, he won a parliamentary seat.

That was revoked in October 2010.

Sri Lanka's top court last month confirmed a court-martial conviction against Fonseka, dismissing his appeal to have his parliamentary seat reinstated.

An earlier court martial ruled he be stripped of his rank and pension for indulging in politics while a serving officer.

The island nation's Supreme Court decision means Rajapaksa's chief political rival will remain out of politics for the foreseeable future.

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