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Last updated: 17 November, 2009 - Published 15:54 GMT
 
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Govt. condemns 'media harrassment'
 
Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene
Minister says allowing journalists was an "internal issue" of Sri Lanka army
The Sri Lanka government say that harassing journalists at a ceremony to mark the end of tenure of Gen Sarath Fonseka was 'wrong'.

Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene told journalists that the military who organised the farewell parade for Fonseka should bear the responsibility of the manner in which journalists were treated.

BBC's Elmo Fernando was among the Journalists who were kept waiting in front of Sri Lanka army (SLA) headquarters for more than one and half hours despite being invited to arrive at 9am on Monday.

Minister Yapa who called it an "internal issue" of the SLA said that it had "nothing to do with the government".

"It was wrong irrespective of whoever did it. Journalists should have been allowed to report," he said.

Former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Sarath Fonseka, was told to retire with immediate effect despite his request to be relieved from active military duty from the first of December.

He is planning to contest presidential elections against President Mahinda Rajapaksa, media reports say.

On Monday, Gen Fonseka told journalists that he will be revealing future plans "in three days".

 
 
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