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* Marxist alliance protests demanding Sri Lanka ex-commander's release
Tue, Mar 23, 2010, 08:24 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Marxist party backed Democratic National Alliance (DNA) today staged a protest in front of the Fort Railway Station in downtown Colombo demanding the release of their leader former Army commander General (Retd.) Sarath Fonseka.

Hundreds of Fonseka supporters including Buddhist monks holding placards that read "Court martial fraud exposed. Release General immediately," shouted slogans to protest his court martial proceedings.

The retired military chief who was arrested last month for violating the Military Act is facing two military tribunals. He is being charged for his alleged participation in political activities while in military and contravention of laid down procedures related to military procurement.

The first court-martial to try Fonseka for the first set of charges was held on March 16 and the next hearing has been recessed until April 6.

The second court martial convened on March 17 to hear four allegations on the contravention of military procurement procedures had adjourned sittings indefinitely over the composition of the tribunal. A new panel of judges is to be appointed soon.

Meanwhile the defeated presidential candidate is contesting the upcoming parliamentary polls as the leader of the NDA, an alliance between his former New Democratic Front and Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

(Reuters Photo)

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