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* Former Sri Lanka Chief Justice claims arrest and detention of General Fonseka is a violation of many laws
Mon, Mar 15, 2010, 06:16 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 15, Colombo: Former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva said the arrest and detention of former Sri Lanka Army Commander General (Retired) Sarath Fonseka violated many laws in the country.

The controversial former head of the Supreme Court said the arrest of General Fonseka was contrary to the country's Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, the Army Act and the Chief of Defence Staff Act.

He maintained that the Army Act did not apply to General Fonseka as Army Commanders were not commissioned officers or enlisted soldiers to whom the Army Act applied to. He noted that if there were any complaints against General Fonseka, the government should try him under the civil law.

"If General Fonseka had committed some offence, he should have been arrested under the civil law," Silva said.

Silva explained to the media that the Army Commander if found to have committed an offence could be charged under the Criminal Procedure Act.

General Fonseka's court martial proceedings are to take place tomorrow at the Navy headquarters before a three-judge panel. He is being charged for his participation in political work while in active service and contravention of laid down procedures related to military procurement.

The Democratic National Alliance, the party General Fonseka leads, says the former military chief will not attend his court martial.

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