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Last updated: 17 February, 2010 - Published 17:17 GMT
 
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Victory 'internationally overshadowed'
 
Mr. Fox (l) meets President Rajapaksa in Colombo (photo: Chandana Perera)
Mr. Fox urges government to file charges against Gen Fonseka in civil courts
The British opposition says that the victory of Sri Lanka's president is overshadowed by the situation faced by his main opponent.

Speaking to the BBC in Colombo Shadow Foreign Secretary Liam Fox said,"it is a great pity to me that the president having won a great victory, is having it overshadowed by the situation regarding General Fonseka".

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's main challenger in the presidential election, Gen Sarath Fonseka is held in military detention after being arrested soon after his defeat.

'Clear and transparent'

There has been international as well as local calls for his release. Some protests in Sri Lanka has met violent opposition from the police and supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

FM Bogollagama
Minister says that govt. is looking at all options regarding Gen Fonseka

The British Shadow Defence Secretary told BBC's Ethirajan Anbarasan in Colombo that he has heard, "many conflicting versions" of the former military chief's arrest.

However, he said that any charges brought against Gen Fonseka should be clear and transparent and that the defeated candidate be tried in civil courts.

His main concern, said MP Fox, is that charges against Gen Fonseka, "withstand the rigour of the civil courts and that there is sufficient transparency in the process to ensure the wider community that the rule of law prevails," in Sri Lanka.

The British Conservative Party MP met the president of Sri Lanka and the foreign minister in Colombo on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told journalists that the government was looking at all the options which Liam Fox described as a "cautious response".

 
 
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