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* Former military commander escorted to opening session of Sri Lanka parliament
Thu, Apr 22, 2010, 11:04 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

April 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka's former military commander and MP-elect General (retd.) Sarath Fonseka has reportedly been escorted with heavy security to attend the inaugural session of the new parliament this morning.

Fonseka was sworn in as a member of the parliament before the Speaker today at the opening session of the seventh parliament.

General Fonseka who is incarcerated at the Navy Headquarters pending two military tribunals won a seat from the Colombo District contesting under the Marxist Democratic National Alliance, the party led by him at the general elections.

According to an AFP report, the defeated presidential candidate has demanded the 'rule of law' at the opening session.

"What the country needs is democracy, rule of law, personal freedoms and media freedom," AFP quoted Fonseka as saying.

The ex-Army Commander is facing two courts-martial for his alleged political activities while in uniform and for violations of military procurement procedures. He will continue to be detained but would be provided with facilities to attend parliamentary sessions.

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