Sri Lankan government today said it will send a delegation to meet the country’s powerful Buddhist monks to clarify the reasons behind the detention of former army chief Sarath Fonseka, after they asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to release the “gallant officer“.

“The government will be soon sending a delegation to (Central) Kandy to meet the Mahanayakas of the four chapters to clarify the situation,” Maitripala Sirisena, the General Secretary of the main ruling coalition party, Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP) told reporters.

He said the government would explain the circumstances that led to the arrest and detention of General Sarath Fonseka. “We will send a delegation to Kandy to give explanation to the Mahanayakas on the matter,” the leader said in a prompt response to the appeal from the monks.

The Mahanayaka Theras of the four Chapters, in a letter on Saturday, had asked Mr. Rajapaksa to “retract the charges levelled against General Fonseka and release him from custody and also provide him with adequate security.”

The clergy had appealed to Mr. Rajapaksa to release Gen. Fonseka from custody, saying it was “unacceptable” to arrest a “gallant officer”, who played a key role in defeating the LTTE, due to “petty political differences“.

Rejecting the Opposition charges that the former army chief and defeated opposition Presidential candidate’s arrest was a “political revenge,”Mr. Sirisena said, he, while serving in the army, had violated the norms by interacting with political parties.

More In: International | News