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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 February 2010

Sri Lankan president elect, Rajapakse, removes his rival, Fonseka

SRI LANKA'S former army chief and main opposition presidential election challenger, Sarath Fonseka, was dragged from his office late at night last Monday. 150 soldiers under orders from president Mahinda Rajapakse, bundled him into a bus and drove him away. As we go to press, his whereabouts are still unknown.

Fonseka, as the army leader, and Rajapakse, as president of the ruling Sinhala chauvinist government, waged a brutal civil war against the Tamil-speaking population of the north and east of the island in order to defeat the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In the final months, an estimated 10,000 civilians were killed.

Hundreds of thousands of displaced Tamil refugees were confined to open air military prison camps and endured shortages of food, water and medical care.

Fonseka and Rajapakse, both wanting to politically capitalise on the military defeat of the LTTE, were rivals in the recent presidential election which was won by Rajapakse. Fonseka publicly challenged the vote's validity, telling reporters he feared for his life.

The Socialist Party's Sri Lankan counterpart, the United Socialist Party, consistently and courageously opposed the war and contested the presidential election. Its general secretary, Siritunga Jayasuriya, said: "With Fonseka's abduction, Rajapakse is trying to silence his former ally and all opponents, resorting to the classical methods of a dictator. He and his gang want to sabotage the forthcoming parliamentary election.

"If this can happen to Fonseka, who got four million votes in the election, no-one is safe. All opposition parties have today made a call for a campaign of public protests, starting tomorrow, 10 February, at noon."

See www.socialistworld.net for background information and regular updates on Sri Lanka.

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In The Socialist 10 February 2010:

Fight university cuts


Unison general secretary election

Fighting leadership needed in Unison - Nominate Roger Bannister for general secretary

Greenwich Unison backs victimised branch secretary


Socialist Party news and analysis

Preying on the living and dead

Waltham Forest: Campaigners score a victory

Fiddling MPs: Jail the whole lot of them!

Vulnerable lose out on benefits

Socialist Women: Fighting for equality through socialism

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Civil service strike ballot: Vote 'yes' for action

Boycotting the 2010 SATS in schools

Coventry youth workers' strike

Metaldyne workers strike

Stoke: Axiom workers in overtime ban

Saving jobs and services in Worcestershire

Workplace news in brief


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Hazel Blears must go

TUSC: Wellingborough socialists make a stand


PCS young members

PCS young members network conference

Bristol job centre workers fight transfer


Socialist Party feature

Trade unions in Britain - are they ready for the coming battles?


International socialist news and analysis

Northern Ireland: An agreement to cement division

Sri Lanka President Rajapakse removes his rival, Fonseka

Tamil Solidarity -: Successful northern conference


Unison witchhunt

Trotskyism on trial


War and occupation

Armed forces: Release Lance-Corporal Joe Glenton

Trade union rights for service personnel


 

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