Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga issuing a press release yesterday hit out at former President Mahinda Rajapaksa stating that she was left without any security for two months in the latter part of 2007.
The statement comes in the wake of Joint Opposition’s complaints over the reduction of the security detail of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
“In September 2007, 15 months after my retirement, President Rajapaksa and his brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who was responsible for the entire security apparatus of the Sri Lankan State, instructed the relevant authorities to withdraw every single one of my Security personnel, all vehicles and weaponry. I was left without any Security for two months,” she said. She said a small part of her security was reinstated after two months due to repeated concerns expressed by various parties including foreign governments.
“Protests by a few MPs of the UNP and several foreign Governments (All MPs and other representatives of the SLFP being forbidden from talking to Chandrika Kumaratunga or taking up any issues on her behalf) compelled the Rajapaksa Government to restore a small part of my Security – 40 Security personnel in all and five vehicles in poor condition. Until the present day, my security remains the same,” she remarked.
The release further said: “I have watched with amusement the agitation of the Joint Opposition MPs regarding the reduction of the Security accorded to Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is pertinent to remind Rajapaksa of the manner in which he treated another former President and the Security he accorded her.”
“I retired in November 2005, while the civil war between the State of Sri Lanka and the LTTE was ongoing. The LTTE issued several formal statements announcing that they would attempt to assassinate Chandrika even after her retirement, giving the main reason for this as the take-over of Jaffna from the LTTE by the Kumaratunga Government and clearing Jaffna of the LTTE, compelling the LTTE to limit themselves to the smaller areas of Killinochchi and Mullaitivu.” “The Special Committee of the Security Council studied my security needs after retirement and suggested that I be given a security detail of 300 personnel with the required vehicles and weaponry. Acting on my usual principle of cutting down Government expenditure to the maximum, I rejected the Security Council proposal and agreed to only 150 personnel and 10 vehicles, including security vehicles.”
(Source: Daily News)