by Shamindra Ferdinando
Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that intelligence services had been relentlessly pursuing him.
Rajapaksa maintained that intelligence services had checked on his movements and also inquired from various hotels information pertaining to his visits and those with him.
The war veteran told The Island that he couldn’t see any justifiable reason to keep him under surveillance as he didn’t pose a threat whatsoever to national security. “I believe they have far more important assignments than to follow me,” Rajapaksa said, urging the government not to engage in silly games.
Asked whether he felt threatened by government actions, Rajapaksa emphasized that those who had been inquiring about his movements could be briefed regularly. “I have nothing to hide from those now in power nor posed a threat to anyone.”
Responding to another query, Rajapaksa revealed that a Vice Chancellor of a state run University had politely declined to attend an event at Weligama, Matara on Thursday (Oct 6) when he was told of him (Gotabhaya) taking part in it. Obviously, the academic had been severely rattled in the wake of the VC receiving a call from a state intelligence arm, the former Defence Secretary said. The Weligama event had been organised to recognise the services rendered by pre-school teachers, therefore the government had absolutely no reason to get worked up, Rajapaksa said.
Addressing the Weligama meeting, the former Defence Secretary explained his dilemma in being pursued by those who had been once commanded by him.
Rajapaksa offered to make available in advance his engagements to those following him.
The former Defence Secretary assured that he wouldn’t act in a way inimical to national security under any circumstances.
Rajapaksa told The Island that the police had inquired about his recent visits to two hotels in Kandy. They had even wanted to know who paid the bill, Rajapaksa said, adding that the government should direct all available resources to meet future security threats.
Rajapaksa supervised successful combined security forces campaign which brought the LTTE to its knees in May 2009.
The former Defence Secretary said that he had been battling several court cases since the change of government in January 2015.
Rajapaksa said that those who had contributed to Sri Lanka’s triumph over terrorism were being humiliated and hounded. Had the then government succumbed to Western pressure, national reconciliation would never have been a reality, the former Defence Secretary said.
The former Defence Secretary refrained from commenting on any specific case moved against him.
“All I can say is that we ended terrorism seven years ago to pave the way for all communities to live in harmony. We freed Tamil speaking people from the LTTE to facilitate first Northern provincial Council polls in late 2013. The same lot while enjoying political power are seeking to avenge the death of terrorists.”
The former Defence Secretary urged that he be left out of political battles.