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Jan 27, 2010 at 11:48am IST

Lankan army surrounds General Fonseka's hotel

Colombo: Early returns Wednesday showed Sri Lanka's incumbent President ahead of his former army chief in their bitter race to win the country's first postwar election, while government troops surrounded the ex-general's hotel.

In a sign of the sky-high tensions between the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his former top general and challenger Sarath Fonseka, a military spokesman said on Wednesday that troops surrounded the central Colombo hotel where Fonseka was staying.

Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said about 400 people, including alleged army deserters, were inside the Cinnamon Grand Lake Hotel together with Fonseka. He said that there were no plans to arrest Fonseka.

TAKING NO CHANCES: Sri Lankan soldiers guard the hotel where opposition candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka stays.

Returns showed Rajapaska leading with 1,125,297 votes, compared to 752,850 for Fonseka.

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