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Will fight corrupt government: Fonseka

Colombo: Former Sri Lanka Army chief and presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka today vowed to fight the "corrupt government" and unite opposition against the Rajapaksa regime.

"I will not join the government for personal benefit. Speculation is misleading. I will remain in opposition to fight this corrupt government", Fonseka said addressing reporters for the first time since coming out of jail. He invited the public to rally around him in the fight to rid the country of corruption.

Fonseka said he would unite the opposition against the Rajapaksa regime which had sentenced him to jail. "Leadership battles have weakened the opposition. My party will join forces with those who want to change this corrupt political culture. The leadership can be decided by the people," Fonseka said.

Fonseka was freed late last month from jail by a presidential pardon. The government last week provided him with police protection giving rise to speculation that the former Army commander was closing ranks with the government.

He was made to face a string of court cases since he was crushed by Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 2010 presidential poll. Fonseka was backed by both major opposition parties, the UNP and the JVP in 2010.

After launching public agitation campaigns for his release, both parties stay distanced from the former Army Commander since his release.

Fonseka was jailed for 30 months by a court martial for procedural wrongdoing in military procurements and given three more years in jail by the high court for saying that the government had ordered the execution of surrendering LTTE cadres.

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