Sri LankaMay 2012 | Risk Summary
On May 18, President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed papers to pardon incarcerated ex-army chief and former presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka. Three days later, on May 21, Fonseka was released from prison. In the 2010 presidential elections, the ex-army chief unsuccessfully tried to unseat Rajapaksa, garnering a respectable 40.2% of the total votes. Fonseka was convicted on charges of corruption and given a 30-month jail sentence in September 2010. While in jail, Fonseka was also convicted for accusing Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for human rights violations, receiving an additional three-year jail sentence. His release will unlikely present a political challenge to Rajapaksa, who continues to enjoy strong support from the general public.
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