Sri Lanka ex-military chief to run against president: party

November 24, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s former military chief, General Sarath Fonseka, will challenge his ex-boss President Mahinda Rajapakse in upcoming elections, a key leftist opposition party announced Tuesday. The JVP, or People’s Liberation Front, which had earlier backed Rajapakse, said they secured an agreement with Fonseka, 58, to stand against Rajapakse, who on Monday called a snap vote due between January 11 and February 1.

“We came to an agreement last night (Monday) that he will be the common opposition candidate,” JVP lawmaker Anurakumara Dissanayake said. “We will ensure his victory and the downfall of president Rajapakse.”