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Sri Lanka Presidential Elections: Sarath Fonseka arrested

Categories: South Asia, Sri Lanka, Breaking News, Citizen Media, Elections, Politics
General Sarath Fonseka in a press conference. Image from Flickr by Indi.ca - used under a Creative Commons License [1]

General Sarath Fonseka in a press conference. Image from Flickr by Indi.ca – used under a Creative Commons License

News is just coming in [2] that Sarath Fonseka [3], the opposition candidate who lost to the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the recently concluded 6th Presidential Election in Sri Lanka, has been arrested [4] by the military police. The charges against him are military offences, conspiring to topple the government through a coup, creating divisions within the Sri Lankan army when he was at its helm etc.

Twitter is abuzz with the story and opinions, some of which have been captured below:

@LankaBreaking [5] Gen Sarath Fonseka arrested http://tinyurl.com/yf7tnzc [6] #slbrk [7]

@mayooresan [8] so its official, SF is being arrested… phew!!!! #Lanka [9] #SRiLanka [10]

@imahassen [11] http://bit.ly/b380g9 [12] Sri Lanka opposition leader arrested – physically abused and humiliated. (via @AruSivananthan [13]) #LKA [14]

@nrnikhil [15] Gen Fonseka arrested in Srilanka! Are we seeing a new dictatorship in South Asia? #lanka [16] #srilanka [17]

@amanashraff [18] #topstories [19] Sri Lanka election loser arrested http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8504882.stm [20] #lka [21] #politics [22] #news [23] #bbc [24]

@anooprk07 [25]: Opposition leader Sarath Fonseka arrested. Sri Lanka heading towards a Dictatorship??

@suhasinih [26]: Emergency like sit in effect in Sri Lanka- Fonseka arrested say reports. #LKA [14]

@BDUTT [27] what? Fonseka?! Now is Sri lanka turning into Pakistan? Nawab and musharaf style! #LKA [14]

@sardesairajdeep [28]: the arrest of gen fonseca in sri lanka is no surprise. rajapakshe may have won elections, but he is a dictator.

@lpolgreen [29]Fonseka has been arrested for his conduct as military chief of staff, not as a candidate, a government spox told me. #SriLanka [30]

@kanchangupta [31]: Defence Spokesman: “Fonseka taken into custody by Army, will “face court martial for military offences committed during his service.”

@Muthukumaran [32] Fonseka arrested and faces conspiracy charges.Life comes a full cycle.It wont be long when Rajapaksa will find himself in a dire state.

@amargov [33]Request right wing twitterati to hold back all the righteous indignation for Fonseka arrest. Chances are Fonseka was indeed guilty.

The Lanka Libertarian offers a quick reaction [34] to the news of Fonseka's arrest.

nobody is above the law. if retired general sarath fonseka betrayed and endangered ppl including officers who sacrificed and contributed to defeat tamil tiger (ltte) terrorists…if he was planning to undermine democracy …if he was calling for foreign intervention to make him president after his loss in election (he is on record doing so) , he should pay the price. according to law. after a proper trial. no more no less.

Indi Samarajiva at indi.ca offers his opinion [35] about the incident. According to him:

In this case I think the law is being applied as a weapon. People with connections can get away with murder and those without can get framed for anything. It’s a sad day for General Fonseka personally, but it’s sad day for us as well. Fonseka is no saint, but this is not even an issue of law. It’s the law being corrupted to serve a man. Sarath Fonseka’s real crime was opposing Mahinda. For that he’s in jail.

Looks like the post-Presidential-Election political drama in Sri Lanka is reaching a crescendo.