Sri Lanka Police Arrest Staff of Election’s Loser
The NewYork Times,
January 29, 2010 .
The police raided the office of Sri Lanka’s defeated presidential candidate on Friday and arrested 15 of his staff members, after officials accused him of plotting to overthrow the government and assassinate his victorious rival.
The candidate, Sarath Fonseka, a general who carried out the successful military operation against the Tamil Tiger insurgency last year, called the allegations fabricated and vowed to challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s party in coming parliamentary elections.
The two men were close allies when they crushed the rebels last year, but had a falling out after the war ended in May. General Fonseka joined the opposition to run against the president, with both sides campaigning on their record as heroes who ended the 26-year separatist rebellion.
Mr. Rajapaksa swept to a resounding victory in Tuesday’s vote, beating the former army chief by 17 percentage points. But General Fonseka rejected the results and accused the government of stealing more than one million of his votes during the tallying process.
The government denied this, and in turn accused General Fonseka of plotting to kill Mr. Rajapaksa and overthrow the government with the help of army deserters and former military officers.
Published: Fri Jan 29 20:35:40 EST 2010