The post-poll drama continued in Colombo on Friday as personnel from the special task force (STF) and criminal investigation department (CID) armed with powers under Emergency regulations carried out raids at retired army chief Sarath Fonseka’s office.
Government sources did not reveal the reasons behind the raids. But indications were that the STF personnel were looking for evidence — like weapons — that Fonseka had planned a coup against President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Rajapaksa defeated Fonseka on Tuesday’s presidential election. The election campaign and its aftermath have been bitter. Fonseka has threatened to slap a case in the Supreme Court to annul the result.
The Friday raids began in the afternoon and continued till late evening. Hundreds of STF personnel combed every inch of Fonseka’s office, also his home in the run-up to the election. Fonseka moved out of the house on Tuesday night fearing for his life, and after a day of drama at a five-star hotel, moved to a confidant’s house.
“They are presently searching the office. They did not have a search warrant and the CID director told us that the search was being conducted under Emergency regulations. We have been told that they do not have orders to take anyone in custody,’’ opposition leader and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress chief Rauff Hakeem, told HT.
Meanwhile, Karin Wenger, the New Delhi-based correspondent of Swiss Public Radio, has been ordered to leave Sri Lanka by February 1. Wenger was here to cover the election.
The CID also detained the editor of the Lanka newspaper, Chandana Sirimalwatte, for questioning.