UN’s Ban Ki-moon urges safety of defeated Sri Lankan presidential candidate

February 10th, 2010 - 3:30 am ICT by BNO News  

UNITED NATIONS (BNO NEWS) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday called on authorities in Sri Lanka to ensure the rights and safety of the defeated presidential candidate and former army chief that was arrested yesterday.

General Sarath Fonseka, the challenger who received 40 percent of the vote in January’s presidential election, was arrested yesterday by Sri Lankan troops for alleged military offenses. The country’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have ordered the dissolution of Parliament that goes into effect midnight on Tuesday.

The Secretary-General said he is following developments in the South Asian nation “with concern,” a UN spokesman said.

“He urges the authorities to follow due process of law and provide all the necessary protections and guarantees to his safety.”

The Secretary-General intends to speak to Mr. Rajapaksa, who was re-elected after obtaining nearly 58 percent of the more than 10 million votes cast in recent polls, and will maintain close engagement through his senior advisors.

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