Sri Lanka ex-military chief asks court to restore bodyguards

November 24, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s former top army general Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to restore his security contingent which has been drastically scaled down following a spat with the president, officials said. General Sarath Fonseka petitioned the country’s highest court seeking the restoration of his 600-member strong bodyguard unit which has been slashed to 60, papers filed in court showed.

A court official said the case was likely to be taken up in a few days. A key opposition party on Tuesday announced it had chosen Fonseka as its candidate to challenge President Mahinda Rajapakse at upcoming polls.

“The petition was filed today,” the official said adding that Fonseka was also seeking two bullet-proof cars and another 10 vehicles for his bodyguards.

Fonseka was critically wounded in April 2006 when a woman Tamil Tiger suicide bomber targeted his car inside the army headquarters.

Military officials said Fonseka was given 50 soldiers, 10 commandos, two security vehicles and a bullet-proof car for his use after he retired following a spat with the president.

“He has also asked the court to ensure that the government gives him the deed of ownership to a piece of property that w