Vowing to make every effort to secure release of detained ex-army chief and their defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka, Sri Lankan opposition parties on Wednesday launched an aggressive campaign to collect 10 lakh signatures for the purpose.
"The signature campaign began this morning at JR Jayawardenapura Centre here," General Secretary of the main opposition United National Party (UNP), Tissa Attanayake, said.
He said the opposition parties were aiming at collecting 10 lakh signatures to press for release of Gen Fonseka, who was arrested last week on conspiracy charges.
Attanayake also said the UNP and supporting parties have issued an appeal to the government to restore the security for opposition MPs in the run-up to the April 8 parliamentary polls.
He warned that the government would be held responsible if any untoward incident takes place that endangers the life of the lawmakers during the election campaign.
"While the gun-totting bodyguards are protecting many of the ruling MPs and the ministers, the security of the opposition leaders and MPs have been either reduced or removed" aafter Parliament was dissolved earlier this month, Attanayake told reporters.
Meanwhile, some opposition leaders and MPs are planning to move court to have their security restored in the run-up to the general election, days after the government withdrew it on the ground that Parliament had been dissolved.