Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lanka prez OKs Fonsekas discharge

Colombo: Sri Lankas president approved the dishonorable discharge of his former army chief and political rival on Saturday,a day after a military court convicted the general of involvement in politics while in service. President Mahinda Rajapaksa confirmed that general Sarath Fonseka would be stripped of his rank,medals and other military honors,a government statement said.

Fonseka led Sri Lankas army in its victory last year against ethnic Tamil rebels,ending a quarter-century civil war that killed 80,000 to 100,000 people. One-time allies,the president and army chief were both considered heroes by the Sinhalese majority for crushing the Tamil rebels.However,their relationship deteriorated after the hostilities ended and Fonseka challenged Rajapaksa in a presidential election. Fonseka lost the election to Rajapaksa in January and was arrested weeks later. The former general was accused of planning his political career while still in uniform and breaching regulations for purchasing military hardware.AFP

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