UN chief alarmed by fate of Sri Lanka’s Fonseka

UNITED NATIONS, February 9, 2010 (AFP) – UN chief Ban Ki-moon is alarmed by the arrest of Sri Lanka’s defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka and urged Colombo to guarantee his safety, his spokesman said Tuesday. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Ban “is following developments in Sri Lanka with concern” and urged Colombo authorities “to follow due process of law and provide all necessary protections (for Fonseka) and guarantees to his safety.”

Nesirky said the UN secretary general planned to speak with President Mahinda Rajapakse “in the coming hours” about the case.

Sri Lanka said earlier Tuesday it would court martial Fonseka for conspiring against the government and sacked parliament to make way for snap polls.

The Sri Lankan defense ministry said Fonseka, who was seized by troops at his office in Colombo on Monday, will face a court martial even though he quit in November following a rift with the president.

The opposition said Fonseka was “grabbed” by the military while he discussed plans to contest upcoming parliamentary polls with several senior party leaders who had backed his failed bid for the presidency last month.

The government said Fonseka had been “conspiring” with oppositio