Lanka feared coup, reveals ex-army chief Fonseka

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Colombo, Nov.14 (ANI): Days after General Sarath Fonseka resigned as Sri Lanka's Chief of Defence Staff, his resignation letter reveals that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was so afraid of a military coup after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers that he warned India to place its troops on high alert.

The Sri Lankan and Indian Governments, however, have not responded to this charge as yet, though media reports emanating from the island nation suggest that the Indian armed forces were put on high alert on October 15 after Colombo expressed fears over a possible military takeover.

In his resignation letter, an offended Fonseka reveals that in reaching out to India, the army's image had been tarnished and he as its past commander had no other option but to resign.

An excerpt from his letter reads: "It was noted that the same army which gained victory for the nation was suspected of staging a coup and thereby alerting the Government of India once again on the 15th of October 2009, unnecessarily placing the Indian troops on high alert. This action did tarnish the image and reputation gained by the SLA. This suspicion would have been due to the loyalty of the SLA towards me as its past Commander who led the Army to the historic victory."

Government sources in Delhi told a private television channel that the Centre was aware of the fears of a coup in Lanka.

The sources added that the Indian Army was not put on alert and there was no intention of military action in Sri Lanka.

The present rift in Sri Lanka comes as India's Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee visits Colombo from today.

Fonseka is now expected to challenge Rajapaksa in a presidential election due by April 2010. (ANI)

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