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Updated: October 29, 2009 03:33 IST

Opposition support for Fonseka grows

B. Muralidhar Reddy
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In this May 18, 2009 photo Sri Lankan Army chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka arrives to meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during a ceremony to announce their victory against the Tamil Tiger rebels at the Presidents' office in Colombo.
AP In this May 18, 2009 photo Sri Lankan Army chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka arrives to meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during a ceremony to announce their victory against the Tamil Tiger rebels at the Presidents' office in Colombo.

The former Sri Lankan Prime Minister and opposition leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has openly come out in support of Chief of Defence Staff Sarath Fonseka contesting the Presidential election.

Announcement of the date for the general election due by April and a possible Presidential election before it are to be announced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the convention of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on November 15.

The Website of United National Party (UNP) led by Mr. Wickremesinghe quoted him as telling representatives of trade unions here on Tuesday that there was nothing wrong in the media report of a military officer going to contest the Presidential election.

Mr. Wickremesinghe's remarks came on the same day Gen. Fonseka told a gathering at a Sri Lankan Buddhist Temple in Washington D.C. that although there were those attempting to take credit for the victory against the LTTE, it was only the troops on the ground who really knew who deserved the praise. Gen. Fonseka, who as Army chief led Eelam War IV, is currently on a private tour to the U.S. and is expected to return in the last week of October. The opposition parties in the island nation have been publicly talking about the possibility of adopting Gen. Fonseka as the consensus candidate to take on Mr. Rajapaksa.

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