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Fonseka admitted to prison hospital after breathing problems

world Updated: Nov 18, 2010 10:33 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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Jailed former Sri Lankan army chief Sarath Fonseka was rushed to a prison hospital in Colombo on Tuesday night after he complained of breathing problems and wheezing.

Fonseka, targeted by the Tamil Tigers more than once, has multiple shrapnel still embedded in his body. And he developed breathing problems after an attack by a Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber nearly left him dead.

Though Fonseka’s condition had stabilised, doctors had kept him under observation, Tiran Alles, MP and chairman of the Fonseka-led Democratic National Alliance told HT after visiting the former general.

Fonseka is currently serving a 30-month jail sentence in the largest prison in the country, Welikada -- the same prison where at least 45 policemen were injured after inmates attacked them during a drug raid.

"He suddenly developed breathing problems and a cough last night. The problems are related to his earlier injuries. The doctors treating him then had said that he should regularly swim and use the treadmill. But he hasn’t been able to do so in prison even though senior doctors have written about giving him access to a treadmill," Alles said.

He added that even courts have given instruction that Fonseka should be allowed to use a treadmill.

Fonseka’s wife, Anoma Fonseka, meanwhile, said on Wednesday that her husband’s cell was flooded during last week’s heavy rains and he had to use a bucket to drain out the water.

Speaking to *Daily Mirror online, *Anoma said that Fonseka told her last week – she’s allowed to visit him in jail once a month -- that his cell filled up with water because of a leak in the ceiling. She added that he was later provided with five buckets by prison officials.

While the commissioner general of prisons major general VR de Silva confirmed to the media about Fonseka’s hospitalisation, neither he nor other officials shared more details about his condition.