Former Sri Lanka Army Chief Fonseka Sentenced To 3 More Years In jail

COLOMBO – Sri Lanka’s jailed former army chief Sarath Fonseka was today sentenced to spend three more years in prison after a court convicted him for alleging that the brother of the country’s President, Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, had ordered the execution of surrendering Tamil rebels.

Fonseka, a member of Parliament, was found guilty by a split 2-1 decision by the high court in the ‘white flag’ case, for violating emergency regulations by “spreading rumours and causing public disorder” in an interview with a weekly newspaper.

Fonseka, who ran against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the 2010 elections is already serving a 30-month sentence after a court marshal convicted him on corruption charges.

The former army chief was found guilty by the high court for an interview in the ‘Sunday Leader’ alleging that defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had ordered the military commander Shavendra Silva to kill the white flag waving members of the LTTE who wanted to surrender before the final battle between the Tamil tigers and the army in May 2009. The charge carried a maximum prison term of 20 years.

Fonseka insisted in his testimony that the paper had used his comments out of context, but the court sentenced him to three-year rigorous imprisonment, which means he is expected to perform manual labour.

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