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Last updated: 27 january, 2010 - 12:54 GMT

President Rajapaksa declared winner of Sri Lankan election

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa speaks over his mobile phone

The election commission in Sri Lanka says the incumbent president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has won the country's presidential election.

The main opposition candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, has rejected the result and says he will challenge it.

The election has been marked by bitter rivalry between the two main contenders, who have both been credited with defeating the Tamil Tiger rebels after 25 years of civil war.

The BBC's Charles Haviland reports.

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Earlier, armed troops surrounded the hotel in Colombo where General Fonseka is staying.

The government has said the General was free to leave the hotel, but would have to face consequences from allegations he had made during the election campaign.

Sri Lankan soldiers take position outside the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, Colombo

General Fonseka said he feared the troops surrounding his hotel planned to arrest him if he won the election

From inside the hotel, the BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan speaks to Pascale Harter from the World Today.

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First broadcast 27 January 2010

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