Sri Lanka ex-army chief vows to fight from jail

October 4, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s jailed ex-military chief and opposition leader Sarath Fonseka vowed to fight for democracy as he was escorted out of prison Monday to attend another court case against him. Fonseka, 59, told supporters outside the Colombo High Court that he was prepared to sacrifice his life and will not give up his struggle “for democracy”.

“I am ready to sacrifice my life,” he said outside a packed court house. “I will not give up this struggle.” It was his first outing since he began his 30-month jail term Thursday after a court martial conviction.

The former four-star general began his prison time on Thursday night after President Mahinda Rajapakse confirmed the court martial conviction handed down on September 17 for making improper military procurements.

Fonseka fell out with Rajapakse soon after crushing Tamil Tiger rebels in May last year and ending the island’s drawn out Tamil separatist war.

Fonseka unsuccessfully tried to unseat Rajapakse at a presidential election in January, but managed to win a parliamentary seat which is in doubt since his jailing on Thursday.

Fonseka leads the opposition Democratic National Alliance, which accuses the governm