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Sri Lanka's ex-army chief ends fast

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Tue, Mar 09, 2010 20:09 hrs

Colombo: Sri Lanka's former army chief General Sarath Fonseka, arrested over the charges of conspiring to topple the government, has called off his hunger strike after being allowed to speak to his daughters via his wife's mobile phone.

Fonseka suspended his fast unto death on Tuesday after the military granted him permission to talk to his two daughters in the US, his wife Anoma Fonseka said.

She said that the military had contacted her late Monday evening, asking her to visit her husband immediately with her mobile phone.

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"I went to see my husband at around 11 in the night after the military called me. He spoke to his daughter's through my mobile phone and now he is a bit relieved," she was quoted as saying by Daily Mirror Online.

The military had earlier provided telephone facilities to Fonseka which he had refused insisting that he would stop his fast only if he was given his wife's mobile phone.

Meanwhile, the army has said that the former general, who has been detained since February after being defeated in the Jan 26 presidential election, will be court martialed in the next few days.

The summary of evidence over the charges against Fonseka has already been completed and handed over to army commander over the past weekend.

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Fonseka will be tried on over five charges under the Army Act and will face a court martial within the next few days, Army spokesman Major General Prasad Samarasingha told Daily Mirror Online.

Samarasingha said that legal officers in the Army Directorate of Legal Services are now in the process of reviewing the contents and maintain that there is a prima facie case against Fonseka on more than five charges.

The Army Commander, in receipt of legal consultations, was expected to appoint the court martial for trial in the next few days, He added.

The summary of evidence, recorded by Army Chief of Staff Major General Daya Rathnayaka, was completed within a period of 22 days after obtaining evidence from 35 individuals, including 22 army personnel, seven police officers and six civilians, he said.




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