Lanka opposition accuses Rajapaksa of plotting coup

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Colombo, Jan.25 (ANI): Sri Lanka's opposition has accused President Rajapaksa of planning to stage a coup if he did not win tomorrow's fiercely contested election.

Opposition leaders cited troop movements and a plan to block the results and gag the independent media.

"In the face of inevitable defeat the Rajapaksa regime seems to be conspiring to thwart the democratic process," Mangala Samaraweera, a former Foreign Minister who supports opposition candidate General (retired) Fonseka, said.

The general, who led the military campaign that defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May, said that the Government had moved 15 armoured personnel carriers to Colombo, the capital, and recalled senior army officers considered disloyal.

The President's office denied the allegations and said it was confident that Rajapaksa, who dismissed General Fonseka as army chief last year, would easily win the first election since the defeat of the Tigers.

Diplomats and political analysts said that the leading candidates, who have split the vote of the Sinhalese majority, appeared to be neck and neck when the campaigning ended on Saturday. (ANI)

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