Abusing Navy officer: MR calls for probe into CM’s conduct

Mahinda Rajapaksa

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged the government to probe the conduct of Eastern Province Chief Minister Z. A. Nazeer, who had verbally abused Captain I.R Premaratne at a event at a school function at Sampoor on May 20.

The former President said it was the second such incident, the first being the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan and some of his supporters forcibly entering army camp at Kilinochchi last month.

The following is the full text of former President’s statement: “A video clip of the Eastern Province Chief Minister verbally abusing a naval officer at a public meeting in Sampur has appeared in the media and been posted widely on social networks. The fact that this ugly incident took place in the presence of the American ambassador has added to its seriousness. The Eastern Province Chief Minister who raised an issue of protocol over his place on the stage can be heard shouting at the naval officer repeatedly using phrases like ‘get out from here’ ‘idiot’ and ‘shut up’.

On a previous occasion when TNA politicians forcibly entered an army camp in the north, the government went out of its way to portray this as a minor incident and to sweep it under the carpet. This is now the second such incident. The incidents that took place in the north and in Sampur should not have taken place anywhere in the country. Politicians in any part of the country should not seek to enter army camps without obtaining prior permission or giving due notice. Likewise no politician in any part of the country should ever speak to a uniformed member of the armed forces at a public meeting the way the EP Chief Minister spoke to that naval officer.

Deliberate insults directed in this manner by the political authorities at the armed forces that rid the country of the scourge of terrorism, should stop. We suspect that this latest incident is a part of the project that began in January last year to demoralise our war heroes.  I call upon the government not to sweep this latest incident under the carpet the way they dodged taking action over the incident in the north. It is the duty of the government to formally investigate the conduct of the EP Chief Minister and to take steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur anywhere in the country in future.”

(Source: The Island)