Protecting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was advantageous to the government and, therefore, it would not let him come in harm’s way, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said so in response to a question raised by MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, who called upon the government to provide ample security to the former President.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said security had been provided to former Presidents on the basis of a threat assessment. Both former Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chandrika Kumaratunga had been provided with sufficient security.
For the security contingent of former President, 154 policemen including an ASP, a chief Inspector, nine IPs, 14 Sub inspectors, a WIP, 31 Police sergeants, two Women Police Sergeants, 73 PCs, 14 PCDs and four WPCs had been provided. There were only 61 persons in the security contingent of former President Kumaratunga. Higher number had been assigned to former President Rajapaksa in view of threats, Prime Minister said.
The Premier said former President Rajapaksa had not yet made any requests to the Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development seeking more personnel for his protection. “If there is such a request we can consider it,” he said.
“Protecting Mahinda Rajapaksa is in our interest. We need him. We will not let anything happen to him,” the Prime Minister said.
MEP Leader Gunawardena: Let’s see whether it will be to your advantage or disadvantage later. This is a serious situation. It might be late when the decision is made. It will be a relief if you can re-assign the same number of persons who were withdrawn from President Rajapaksa’s security contingent. We are planning to win this election. But, you people conspired last night, too, to delay polls.
Prime Minister: Make a request. We can study intelligence reports on threat assessment and consider the request.
Courtesy: The Island