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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2583

Release of LTTE Detainees: A Threat to Rajapaksa’s Life - Spokesman Rohan Welivita

Colombo, 07 December, (Asiantribune.com):

The security detail of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa should be increased with the release of LTTE detainees, who have not been rehabilitated, last month by the government, rather than decreasing it, his spokesman Rohan Welivita said in a statement.

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Welivita former President’s spokesperson said that Rajapaksa's security only 102 military personnel were assigned and it has been reduced from 500.

Former President’s spokesman said that Mr. Rajapaksa was in need for 500 more military personnel for his security as his life was in danger, instead of current strength of 102.

Of the 102 soldiers, 80 were engaged in field duties while the remaining 22 were assigned to administrative duties.

With the government’s decision to release hard core terrorists, who were kept in detention under the Prevention of Terrorism (PTA), has placed the life of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in danger, his Media Secretary issuing a statement said.

When asked if President Maithripala Sirisena had ordered the immediate withdrawal of 500 personnel from the former President’s security team, Weliwita said 500 soldiers had not been assigned to Rajapaksa at all.

“These are false rumors spread by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Mr. Rajapaksa was not assigned such a team to begin with,” he said.

Thirty one ex-LTTE detainees were released by Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya last month on strict bail conditions following the approval of the Attorney General’s Department.

“At present there are two former presidents in the country. One of is Mr. Rajapaksa, who defeated the LTTE and other is former president Chandrika Kumaratunga. There is no threat on her as she did not defeat the LTTE,” Weliwita said.

A request to assign more soldiers for the Former President’s security team had already been made to the government, the Spokesman said.

Following is the full text of the statement:

It was widely reported in the media today that 500 army personnel who had been assigned to the security contingent of former President MahindaRajapaksa had been withdrawn. This report is not correct. At present only 102 Army personnel have been assigned to provide security to former President Rajapaksa. Of this number, 80 provide security while 22 are administrative personnel.

The government has started releasing dangerous LTTE suspects who had been held in detention under the PTA. The Rajapaksa government rehabilitated and released over 11,000 LTTE cadres and only two to three hundred hard core terrorists were kept in detention with a view to taking legal action against them. These are the terrorists who are now being released. It need not be stressed that this has placed the life of President Rajapaksa in danger. In these circumstances, it is the duty of the government to strengthen the security arrangements for former President Rajapaksa by assigning more personnel for his security.

With the release of the most dangerous LTTE terrorists held in detention, the government is duty bound to take suitable steps not only to protect former President Rajapaksa but also the other armed forces and civil officers who provided leadership to the war. We wish to draw the urgent attention of the government to this matter.

- Asian Tribune -

Mahinda Rajapaksa
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