59 Army Camps Closed in North, Says Rajapaksa

59 Army Camps Closed in North, Says Rajapaksa

COLOMBO: Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday alleged that 59 Lankan army camps in the Tamil majority Northern Province were shut down by his successor government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

In a letter addressed to participants in a “Bring Back Mahinda Rally” at Matara in South Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa said he was “shocked” by the development.

Rajapaksa charged that the withdrawal had taken place at a time when Eelam flags had reappeared in the North, indicating a possible revival of terrorism.

The former president said the present government is compromising on national security by suggesting the release of LTTE cadre in custody, and holding discussions with people like former Norwegian peace envoy, Erik Solheim, who, he alleged, is trying to revive Tamil separatism.

According to Rajapaksa loyalist Bandula Gunawardene, 76 MPs of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the umbrella organisation, United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), attended the massive Matara rally held in defiance of President Sirisena. Sirisena is the titular head of the SLFP and UPFA.

It was Mahinda who shutdown the army camps, says Kabir Hashim

liarThe government on Sunday (14) dismissed allegations that 59 army camps in the Tamil majority Northern Province were shut down after the election victory at the last presidential election.

Issuing a statement, UNP General Secretary and Minister Kabir Hashim said that these army camps were shutdown during the previous government.

However, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday alleged that 59 Lankan army camps were shut down by his successor government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

In a letter addressed to participants in a “Bring Back Mahinda Rally” at Matara in South Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa said he was “shocked” by the development.

Rajapaksa charged that the withdrawal had taken place at a time when Eelam flags had reappeared in the North, indicating a possible revival of terrorism.

The former president said the present government is compromising on national security by suggesting the release of LTTE cadre in custody, and holding discussions with people like former Norwegian peace envoy, Erik Solheim, who, he alleged, is trying to revive Tamil separatism.