Sri Lanka opposition leader arrested

Things seem to be going from bad to worse in Sri Lanka, as president Mahinda Rajapaksa continues to crack down following his disputed election victory last month:  General Fonseka, a retired four-star general who lost to President Mahinda Rajapakse in the January 26 vote, was seized by military police who stormed the office of his ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images
Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images
Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

Things seem to be going from bad to worse in Sri Lanka, as president Mahinda Rajapaksa continues to crack down following his disputed election victory last month: 

General Fonseka, a retired four-star general who lost to President Mahinda Rajapakse in the January 26 vote, was seized by military police who stormed the office of his People's Liberation Front (JVP).

“They forcibly took away General Fonseka while he was having a discussion with three other senior opposition leaders,” a JVP spokesman said.

Things seem to be going from bad to worse in Sri Lanka, as president Mahinda Rajapaksa continues to crack down following his disputed election victory last month: 

General Fonseka, a retired four-star general who lost to President Mahinda Rajapakse in the January 26 vote, was seized by military police who stormed the office of his People’s Liberation Front (JVP).

“They forcibly took away General Fonseka while he was having a discussion with three other senior opposition leaders,” a JVP spokesman said.

“He was dragged away in a very disgraceful manner in front of our own eyes,” added Rauff Hakeem, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

Fonseka had vowed to challenge the elections results in Sri Lanka’s supreme court, but may now be dragged in front of a judge on charges of plotting a coup.

The Sri Lankan government had hoped that the election — the first one since the end of the country’s decades long civil war — would put the country on a path to normalcy, but it’s only serving to confirm the worst fears about the government’s instability and Rajapaska’s authoritarian tendencies. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.