General Sarath Fonseka, the defeated candidate in Sri Lanka's presidential election, has been arrested at his office in Colombo on charges of plotting to overthrow the country's government, defence officials have said.
General Prasad Samarasinghe, a military spokesman, said the arrest related to "military offences" from Fonseka's time in the army, which ended in November when he quit and entered the presidential race.
"General Fonseka has been arrested on charges of committing military offences," Samarasinghe said in an official statement on Monday.
The former army chief "was dragged away in a very disgraceful manner in front of our own eyes", Rauff Hakeem, Sri Lanka's Muslim Congress leader, told the Reuters news agency.
Many credit Fonseka with winning the war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May.
However, he fell out with Rajapaksa soon after and the pair fought a bitter election campaign.
Fonseka was defeated by Rajapaksa last month by six million votes to four million.
The former army chief has refused to accept his election defeat, saying his supporters were intimidated and the result fixed. He vowed to challenge them in court.
General Fonseka has been accusing the government of trying to frame him. He also alleges there is a plot to kill him. Several senior military officials, close to him, have also been purged since his defeat in the election.
The government has been seeking legal advice to bring a court martial against the general on charges of plotting to overthrow the administration.
by SusahKes - 29 minutes ago
As bad as it seems the decision today, perhaps it is a blessing in disguise. If Nizar had won, UMNO wouldn't have given him/PR team an easy life for remainder of term. And I doubt the Palace would be accommodating either. All of these has shown us, that the most important plan of action is to capture the Federal Gov. With that, we can address the many other bane that afflicts the entire democratic structure in Msia. We can also amend the laws to deal with political frogs. For now, let UMNO win. They may have won the case; they certainly did not the hearts of the ppl. And as Ku Li put it, UMNO practices a sham democracy. It is a matter of time before the house of cards drop permanently. It is also good to note the Fed Crt decision; it confirm to us UMNO's reach. And that lends credence that Anwar's trial is meant to be all but doom for him. Now we know.