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Former army chief denies ordering Lasantha’s murder

Sarath Fonseka, the former chief of the Sri Lankan army, has denied involvement in the murder of former Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, after facing five hours of questioning on the subject on Friday.

Mr Fonseka, who now was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal and appointed as Minister of Regional Development by the current Sri Lankan government, was questioned on the subject of operations carried out by the military on Friday by the  Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

“I was able to use that opportunity to clear my name,” said Mr Fonseka. “The former ruler was trying to blame me for the assassination.”

Specifically he was pressed on the army’s role in operations carried out in Colombo from 2006 to 2009, after a staff sergeant from the army intelligence unit was arrested for the murder in July 2016. However Mr Fonseka said as the head of Sri Lanka’s military, he has “no responsibility to investigate crimes,” according to ColomboPage.