Fonseka beaten, dragged during arrest – report

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 February 2010, 10:47 GMT]
General Sarath Fonseka, the former Sri Lankan military chief and defeated presidential candidate, was punched and dragged along the ground by troops led by a Major General who arrested him as he met political allies last night, the Daily Telegraph said Tuesday. “There was no decorum. To call it an arrest gives dignity and legality to what was a brutal abduction. He was beaten, dragged along the floor and bundled into a van," said opposition politician and Fonseka’s campaign spokesperson Mangala Samaraweera.

Foneska’s wife was later forced to give a statement to police investigators, who raided her home at midnight and questioned her until 2am.

Foneska had been meeting Sri Lankan Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauf Hakim and Mano Ganesan, the leader of the Democratic People's Front, at their Colombo campaign headquarters, when Major-General Sumith Manawadu stormed in with a group of military policemen and ordered them to arrest the general and his aide Senaka da Silva.

"They stormed into the conference room while the meeting was going on and assaulted Mano Ganesan, he [Major-General Manawadu] punched him and then a dozen army people walked in,” Mr Samaraweera told the Daily Telegraph.

“General Fonseka said 'this must be done by the police', at which point Manawadu punched Fonseka. The other armed fellows pinned him to the ground and dragged him by the legs. They carried him down the stairs and bundled him into a van along with his secretary. He was also assaulted," Mr Samaraweera said.

"He is retired, the military police can't arrest him, it must be under civil law. Until 2am General Fonseka's wife had no idea of his whereabouts, and we still don't know anything. You can't be assaulted and bundled into a car without a warrant," he added.

Britain and the United States have expressed concerns over the general's treatment since his hotel was surrounded by army troops after his election defeat last month, the Daily Telegraph said.

 

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