Colombo plays down Fonseka concern

Sri Lanka president says "due process" to be followed in dealing with detained poll rival.

    Fonseka is to be court-marshalled for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government [AFP]

    Sri Lanka's supreme court announced on Friday that it would hear a petition submitted by Fonseka's wife calling for his arrest to be ruled illegal, and ordered the state to allow him family visits and medicines.

    'Breach of rights'

    "The court granted leave to proceed with the case because it appeared, on the face of it, there had been a breach of fundamental rights of General Fonseka," a court official told AFP news agency.

    The court was scheduled to reconvene on February 23 for a further hearing.

    in depth
      Profile: Sarath Fonseka
      Profile: Mahinda Rajapaksa
      Rajapaksa's minority report
      Sri Lanka opposition cries foul
      Video: Sri Lanka votes in Rajapaksa

    The government has yet to specify the charges Fonseka will face, but Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the defence secretary and the president's brother, said he had clearly been plotting a military coup.

    Fonseka's detention has sparked international concern with the US, the EU and the UN, among others, asking Colombo to ensure that due process was followed and  that democracy was not undermined.

    It has also led to violent protests in Colombo between pro and anti-government demonstrators. 

    Fonseka was hailed a national hero for leading the army that finally crushed the separatist Tamil Tigers last May, ending their 37-year campaign for an independent Tamil homeland.

    Fonseka, who quit the military in November, used his fame to enter politics as an opposition presidential candidate.

    He was arrested on February 8, two weeks after being defeated in the elections by a solid margin by Rajapaksa.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.