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'Fonseka Tried To Assassinate Rajapaksa And Family'

PTI 29 Jan 2010, 8:59:58 AM IST

The Sri Lankan government hit back at defeated opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka on Thursday alleging that he had attempted to "assassinate" President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family.

A day after Fonseka charged the army with attempting to kill him and was seeking India's protection, the defence ministry on Thursday claimed there was "ample evidence" to prove that the former army chief Fonseka had hatched the conspiracy at two hotels in Colombo.

Director of Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hullugale claimed that the president and his family were to be assassinated along Galle Road in Colombo or at the Lake House Junction in the commerce hub of Fort.

He claimed nine army deserters, who were arrested from outside a hotel in the capital on Wednesday, were part of the plot and investigations into this are underway.

In his letter to the Election Commission on Wednesday, Fonseka accused Rajapaksa of using the state media to attack him and of misappropriating public funds for his campaign and of preventing displaced minority Tamils from voting.

"The enthusiasm of the people we noticed during the campaign is not reflected in this result," Fonseka told journalists.

"We will never accept this result. We will petition (the court) against it." PTI