The Roman Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has joined demands for the release of opposition leader Sarath Fonseka, the former Sri Lankan army chief.
Fonseka is in prison after being found guilty by a court martial of corruption.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka, in a 7 October 2010 statement, made an "appeal for the release" of Fonseka, who led the Sri Lankan army to victory in 2009 against Tamil rebels who led a 26-year-autonomy campaign.
"We are making this appeal purely on humanitarian grounds," Catholic Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo told ENInews.
"We are not making a judgment whether the process is right or wrong," he said.
After being feted as a war hero, Foneska stood unsuccessfully in a January presidential election against the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The retired general was arrested the following month in what his supporters said was a politically-motivated action.
[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International  is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European Churches.]