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'Will expose Rajapaksa's misdeeds'

world Updated: Dec 06, 2009 16:00 IST

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Gearing up for an electoral fight with Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka's war hero, Gen Sarath Fonseka, addressed his first political gathering in Colombo, pledging to fight "corruption" and expose the government's "misdeeds" if elected President.

Fonseka, the common opposition candidate for the forthcoming Presidential election, said he "will expose the Rajapaksa regime of its misdeeds and rampant corruption at the opportune moment", the Sunday Island reported.

Speaking at the 54th convention of the main Opposition United National Party (UNP) yesterday, Fonseka, who quit as Chief of Defence Staff after a rift with the President, also attacked the ruling party for running a mudslinging campaign.

"They are engaged in a severe mudslinging campaign on the opposition to cover their own sins," he said. He said he would work towards assuring "respect and dignity" for all citizens of Sri Lanka.

"I want to make Sri Lanka an independent nation where its citizens could live with respect and dignity," he said. Speaking in Sinhala language, he also attacked Rajapaksa for continuing with the Executive Presidency.

The present leadership does not want to give up the executive presidency due to the "glamour of it and the excessive power it wields," Fonseka said, adding the country is "moving towards a state of anarchy and it is a dangerous trend."