By Saman Indrajith
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said in Parliament that a group of Joint Opposition (JO) members had joined hands with LTTE cadres to stage a protest against him while he was in Australia when the Deakin University conferred an honorary degree on him.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that the JO activists and LTTE extremists had protested against him and they were together shouting at him using public address systems.
The Prime Minister said so while responding to a question raised by UPFA MP Padma Udayashantha Gunasekera, who demanded to know what action the government would take against those who spread racism and promoted ethnic disharmony via the Internet. The MP said that there were propaganda campaigns aimed at spreading racism in violation of the Constitution while the government was not taking action against them.
Some members of the Tamil diaspora released videos containing messages with the LTTE flag in the background, he said. Law and Order and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayake asked whether the MP could name the particular website so that the government could take action.
The MP said it was the duty of the government to find it.
Leader of the House Highways and Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella: Is it a local website or an international website? You are giving an undue publicity to the LTTE organisation which has been defeated.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe: The Opposition MP says he does not know of the web. We are not sure who run those websites. Because when I was in Australia some 20 persons, supporters of the Joint Opposition and the LTTE protested while I was coming from the Deakin University. So, there are occasions these two groups work together.
Minister Ratanayake: These MPs of the Opposition say they defeated the LTTE. Now, they also say there are LTTE activists. You can refer this matter to the Courts and act on instructions from the Attorney General.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake: The Opposition MPs have their websites operated offshore. They use those webs to sling mud at the President, Prime Minister, and the government. Their main job is character assassination. I call upon the minister to investigate those webs, too.