General Sarath Fonseka, the former Sri Lankan army chief jailed for running as an opposition candidate, has declared he will lead an Arab Spring-style uprising to force the government from office.
Outlining his return to active politics after he was released from jail in May following pressure from the United States, Gen Fonseka sought to scotch speculation he had struck a deal with the government to keep a low political profile.
Instead he launched a bitter attack on President Rajapaksa, whom he accused of persecuting his family and terrorising opponents, and pledged a new campaign to topple his government. "I'm definitely asking people to rise up," and "overthrow the government by democratic methods," he said.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph he denounced his former commander-in-chief as a "dictator" and called on the international community to "de-recognise" the government.
General Fonseka criticised British prime minister David Cameron for meeting President Rajapaksa at a Jubilee lunch in London last month and said the international community must instead isolate his government to stop its abuses.