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Fonseka to move breach of privilege motion against officers

world Updated: May 08, 2010 15:09 IST

Sri Lanka's detained former army chief and MP Sarath Fonseka has said that he would move a breach of privilege motion against army officers, who barred him from attending parliament session earlier this week.

"I was to participate as a Parliamentarian for the emergency regulation's debate. According to the article 67 of the constitution and under the Parliamentary privileges act, I am entitled to this right," Fonseka told Parliament yesterday.

"However, some army officers obstructed me from attending Parliament on May 5. Therefore, I request you to take steps to bring the those officers before the committee on Parliamentary privileges and to take remedial action against the injustice done to me as a Parliamentarian," he said.

Earlier, despite questions raised by the ruling bench, Deputy speaker Priyankara Jayaratne permitted Gen Fonseka to go ahead with his statement saying that it had been agreed upon at the party leaders' meeting.

Raising a question of privilege, Fonseka told the House that he could not participate even in the vote on the extension of the state of emergency as a result.

On Wednesday, the combined opposition even proposed a motion asking the Speaker to give a ruling to bring Fonseka to Parliament.

"This matter would be submitted to the Privileges Committee," Jayaratne said.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror today reported that a third Court Martial is likely to be convened against Fonseka over illegal arms deals allegedly committed by him during his
tenure as Army Commander.

Quoting Defence sources, the newspaper claimed documents relating to the deal are in the process of being scrutinised.

According to the sources, the Court Martial is expected to include six colonels and one Brigadier, it said.

Some 18,000 files are being probed over the deal, the newspaper quoted sources as saying.

The two courts martial are hearing charges of Fonseka engaging in politics while in uniform and contravention of set procedures for procurement of arms and ammunitions during his tenure as Army Commander.

While the first court martial has been adjourned till June 1, the second court martial will meet on May 24.