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Ranil to raise Fornseka issue in India

A number of issues including the imprisonment of former army chief Sarath Fonseka are likely to come up for discussion during United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickeremesinghe’s ongoing India visit.

world Updated: May 30, 2011 20:29 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

A number of issues including the imprisonment of former army chief Sarath Fonseka are likely to come up for discussion during United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickeremesinghe’s ongoing India visit.

Former Prime Minister Wickeremesinghe is expected to ask the Indian leadership to urge the Lankan government to release Fonseka. He is also expected to meet external affairs minister, SM Krishna.

The former Lankan general was first in military custody and is now in jail on charges of corruption and engaging in politics as army Chief.

But it is widely believed that Fonseka was incarcerated because he fought against one-time friend and Commander-in-Chief, President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the country’s Presidency.

``I am sure this will also be in the agenda when he meets Indian leaders,” UNP member and former foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera told a news conference on Monday.

We hope India will request the Sri Lanka government to release Fonseka,” Samaraweera said.

UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya said that Fonseka’s health had deteriorated in prison. “We are very worried about his health…Doctors had advised that he should be in a dust free environment but even this is not provided,” he said, adding Fonseka should have been treated as a political prisoner.

Jayasuriya added that the UNP would continue its agitation to force the government to release Fonseka, and also lift the provisions of the Emergency laws, now enforced in the country.