Mudslingers still attack me and my family, says former President
May 5, 2015 09:24 pm
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday (5) said that the arrest of Corporal Senaka Kumara of the Sri Lanka Army, who allegedly brought a firearm to the SLFP Hambantota District meeting , is the latest episode in the campaign of persecution directed at him and his family members.
Issuing a statement he said “Corporal Senaka Kumara of the Sri Lanka Army has been arrested and remanded for allegedly bringing a firearm to the SLFP Hambantota district balamandalaya meeting held on the 25th of April 2015 which was attended by President MaithripalaSirisena.
At my request, he accompanied my son Namal to the SLFP district committee meeting. As the Pradeshiya Sabha and Provincial and Council members who were with my son were not allowed to enter through the VIP entrance, he had used the public entrance with the others. Corporal Kumara had been standing by the door of the auditorium after my son went in.
Later an STF officer had asked Corporal Kumara who he was and the latter had said that he had accompanied parliamentarian Namal and that he was from the army. On being told that he should not remain there, Kumara had gone back to his vehicle. After the meeting my son came home with Corporal Kumara and the others.
It was only later that we saw media reports to the effect that one of my bodyguards had been caught with a gun at the SLFP balamandalaya meeting. If a gun was found on an unauthorised individual at a meeting attended by the president, he should have been arrested then and there.
A statement was obtained by the CID from Corporal Kumaratwo days later on the 27thApril. He was arrested and remandedon the 2nd May – a week after the alleged incident.
Corporal Kumara had told the CID that he had left his official handgun with the Army driver of their vehicle before accompanying Namal to the auditorium. The Army driver had corroborated this statement.
A good soldier who has done nothing wrong has been arrested in a thinly veiled attempt to implicate my son in what is being portrayed now as a plot against the president. Questions have been raised as to why a member of my security contingent had accompanied Namal. It should be borne in mind that the families of former presidents are also provided security. Furthermore, Army commando bodyguards were sent overseas by my government to provide protection for the two daughters of the then Army Commander Lt General Sarath Fonseka as well.
The arrest of Corporal Kumara is the latest episode in the campaign of persecution directed at me and all those associated with me including family members. This persecution has now been extended even to members of the armed forces providing protection to me.On an earlier occasion, all the vehicles used by the police personnel in my security contingent were withdrawn.
As a result, these police personnel are performing their duties amidst great difficulties.I would like to call upon those concerned to leave members of the armed forces and police out of the political and personal vendettas they may have againstme or members of my family.On an earlier occasion, when a date had been set for a meeting between me and President Maithripala Sirisena, my brother Basil was arrested and remanded. This time a member of my security contingent has been arrested after another date was set for that meeting.Today, former minister Johnston Fernando was also arrested. These events have all the appearances of being politically orchestrated.”