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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Of That Threat to Rjapaksa – Editorial, CDN

Former President Mahinda Rajapksa has complained of a threat to his life. The Organiser of the Peoples’ Media Centre along with two lawyers of the former President had lodged the complaint at Police Headquarters on Tuesday morning. The nature of the threat is yet to be made public but it is learnt that the possible release of LTTE suspects, purposefully disregarding the former President’s security, lethargy in taking action against criminals, questions against certain behaviour (sic) of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and recalling investigations officers who resided in LTTE-friendly countries such as the USA have been cited among the reasons, according to media reports.

It was only the other day that Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva gloatingly assigned credit to the Rajapaksa regime for the release of LTTE suspects in custody when Justice Minister Wijeydasa Rajapakshe said that there only some 200 former LTTEers still being held. Hence the bulk of the LTTE suspects (over 11,000) had been released under the previous regime and there are not many left. How Rajapaksa can blame the present Government for a threat emanating from this quarter is hard to comprehend.

There is no question that the former President should be provided with the maximum security even though the LTTE is only a distant memory at least in this country. True, Mahinda Rajapaksa should be given the credit for presiding over the defeat of the LTTE described as the world’s most ruthless terrorist organisation. By the same token former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga too should have been provided with the maximum security, most importantly because she was indeed a survivor of an LTTE assassination attempt. However Rajapaksa who today sees a threat to his own life from the LTTE thought nothing of withdrawing the security detail of CBK in one fell swoop, leaving her with only a couple of security men, as has been the constant lament of the latter.

This, to a former head of state who was targetted by a LTTE suicide bomber and in fact lost an eye and at a time when the threat was more real unlike at present where an LTTE threat is almost zero.

Rajapaksa who sees a LTTE threat to his life however was not averse to obtaining the assistance of the outfit to ensure his election victory in 2005 through engineering a boycott of the Northern vote that was poised to go overwhelming to his rival Ranil Wickremesinghe. Investigations into this episode that is to commence shortly is bound to unravel more details on the entire conspiracy and the agents involved. Rajapaksa’s complain of an LTTE threat to his life no doubt is grounded on the latter being mass murderers who had eliminated national leaders. But the former President it must be remembered thought nothing of consorting with one time Tiger Eastern Commander Karuna and the likes of Pilleyan,both of whom figured in the attacks on the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi and the Sri Dalada Maligawa and was directly responsible for the mass murder of Policemen in the East.

Rajapaksa, according to the news report, in his complaint, also cites lethargy in taking action against criminals as another cause for the threat to his life. Nothing could be more amusing coming from persons who not only gave patronage to criminal elements but also turned a blind eye to the criminal acts committed in the open. It is no exaggeration to say there was no era in post Independence Sri Lanka where criminals had a free run of the country as during the decade under Rajapaksa rule. Well known criminals were let off on the orders from the top and politicians closely aligned to the Rajapaksas, involved in rape and murder had their cases withdrawn. It is well known that the Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman responsible for the murder of a British national faced the full force of the law only because of the intervention of the British Government. Cases against well known criminals were allowed to drag on letting charters like Julampitiye Amare, wanted for serial murder roam freely. Not only that, the spouse of a Government Minister convicted for the murder of her husband’s mistress and condemned to death row was granted a Presidential pardon.

One cannot fathom what Rajapaksa means when he refers to ‘certain behaviour’ by Ranil Wickremesinghe constituting a threat to his, life unless the former President is of the view that ANY reference to the Rajapaksas by the Premier is a threat to his life. So far the public is not aware of any direct threat of bodily harm made to Mahinda Rajapaksa by the Premier. If that is the case all the members of the FCID from the constable to the DIG should make a complaint to Police Headquarters about the real threat to their lives from Southern Provincial Council Minister D V Upul who threatened to stone them all to death when Rajapaksa becomes Prime Minister.

The Bring back Rajapaksa brigade is fast running out of options and is now engaged in a desperate bid to garner sympathy for their former boss with their campaign fast losing steam. With elections drawing near and Rajapaksa groomed as Prime Ministerial candidate there is no knowing to what lengths this cabal would go to hoodwink the masses.


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