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Kiriella to raise privilege issue against Gota

UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said today, that he would raise a privilege issue in parliament against Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakshe, who is a public servant for challenging him against a  statement made by him.

Kiriella said that he has no right to question a member of parliament. “The secretary of Defence is a public servant and therefore is much lower in the protocol ladder. He has no right to question or challenge a member of parliament. We as Parliamentarians air our views because it’s our duty to give a voice to the voiceless” he said.

 However the MP went on to add that he would gladly provide any information regarding the issue, if the President of the country requests him to do so. “I will gladly provide any information if the President of this country, as the Minister of Defense and the commander in chief requests me to do so” he said. He also went on to state that he would raise this issue in Parliament. “How could a public servant who is much lower in the protocol ladder to that of an MP question an MP? It’s a violation of the establishments code and a breach of privilege of an MP and I will raise this issue in parliament” he said.

However, the UNP Parliamentarian went on to state that he will respond to the matters raised by Rajapaksha in the interest of the public, and not in response to the Secretary of Defense. “ It is well known that abductions and disappearances  continue to take place in Sri Lanka, this phenomenon has been a continuous occurrence for a very long time.” he said

 Kirella called on the Defence Secretary to address the real issues and not evade them “The Defence Secretary seems to be wanting to deviate from the real issues which are who were the abductors? If the government was not responsible then why haven’t they been brought to justice? How were these abductees dropped in the middle of Colombo when the Police were on high alert? What happened to the other people who have been constantly abducted? Why hasn’t there been anyone held responsible for these abductions to this day? Its not only us but the whole world wants answers to these questions and Mr Rajapakshe should answer these questions without evading them,” he said

 Kiriella went on to state that Gunarathnam was immediately deported without being produced before a magistrate because the true nature of the abduction would have been revealed. “Obviously the people who abducted Gunarathnam were reluctant to produce him before a magistrate because if he was produced the true nature of the abduction would have been revealed” he said.

Responding to Mr. Rajapaksa challenging him to divulge the name of the abductee’s relative who had identified an abductor at the Police station, Mr. Kiriella said several MPs would testify to the incident. “This happened about four years ago at an event organized by Mano Ganesan for the relatives of disappeared people.  This lady told it to all those who were there for the event. Several MPs including myself were present and there were several who spoke of disappearances of this nature,” he said.
 (By Hafeel Farisz)

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