Politicians and Civil Society Leaders On Coup Attempt

mahinda and armyAn allegation was made against the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for trying to stage a military coup following the election to remain in power. New Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera has lodged a complaint with the DID regarding the matter and stated that the move was averted as some heads of the military refused to corporate with the plan. However, the members of the former government strongly refused of such an undemocratic move.
Speaking to The Sunday Leader several politicians and civil society members expressed their views regarding this serious allegation made against the former government.

 

Suresh Premachandran – TNA MP

This is a serious allegation against the former government. There were various reports on media and through other sources that there was such an attempt made to stage a military coup.

There were also news which included Chief Justice was present at Temple Trees at dawn on the day the election results were released. According to some media reports, some commanders of the military had not cooperated with the former government to make such a move.

It is a very good decision of the military and we respect them for that. The Minister of Justice needs to look into the matter if such attempt was made and necessary investigations should be conducted to arrest those who were involved in such an undemocratic move. Sri Lanka is a democratic state and if an attempt is made to sabotage the democracy in the country that needs to be seriously investigated.

 

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Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu – CPA Executive Director

If there are such serious allegations it needs to be investigated.

We understand that the current foreign minister has made a complaint regarding this matter to the CID and no doubt investigations will proceed.

As long as there is evidence and as long as responsible people are making these allegations, there is enough for an investigation – and if it is found to be accurate those who engaged in it must be brought to court.

And if such a move was attempted by the previous government, it is completely anti-democratic and people who engaged in such activity should be brought into task.

 

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J.C Weliamuna  – The Convener of Lawyers Collective for Democracy (CLCD)

If there is such criminal evidence, it must be seriously investigated. Especially, summoning the Attorney General in the midnight while the results were being released is absolutely despicable.

What took place afterwards between the former president and the others where even he met Chief Justice in the morning is utterly unacceptable. What does that mean? We need to investigate this. If there was an attempt made to stage a coup, irrespective of their positions, they should apply the criminal law.

 

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Mano Ganesan – Leader of the Democratic People’s Front  

I think the term military coup need to be corrected. It is an attempt made by the members of the former government to alter the result of the election and to take over the government.

New Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has come out with credible evidences and made a complaint to the CID and they were asked to investigate into the matter. I do not think it is proper to term it as a military coup. In fact, despite all the allegations, the military stood by the nation. The military commander is said to have refused to participate in any unlawful activity along with the IGP and Attorney

General. And the Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya stood his grounds against such an undemocratic move. Thanks to these people, such attempts were blocked and the democratic process of the country was protected.

We obtained franchise in 1939 way before many countries. Even though there had been several insurgencies, transfer of power was done on an election. I am glad however there had not been a military intervention and democratic process is established.

 

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Udhaya Gammanpila – Member of the Western Provincial Council  

I am one of the accused of such a move. Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera has lodged a complaint saying that Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa along with G.L Peris and Udaya Gammanpila attempted to stage a military coup. He further says that we sought advice from the  Attorney General regarding the matter. This allegation is funny because those who they accuse are the most unsuitable people for a military coup. When looking at my personal history, I have hit a person only once in my entire life – that was when I was in grade 4. And I do not think  Prof Peris had ever struck a person. If these stories are  true,  this  will  be added  to the  world history as the  first  military  coup where a  conspiracy was done with the advice of an attorney general on how to conduct a constitutional military coup. Nobody will consult an attorney  general for a military coup because it is something illegal. The Attorney Genera is consulted to get advice on how to do things legally. This is  good enough for the general public to understand that this is a made up story. Since there was no such attempt, there cannot be any evidence.

I can say with confidence that I was not involved in any such attempt. There was no reason for such an attempt. Former President Rajapaksa has an unblemished record for conducting democratic elections. He was never accused for rigging the elections and he is the head of state who made  the National Identity compulsory for voting. What happened was that the opposition painted a picture depicting President Rajapaksa as a  dictator and accused that he would not leave power. But he left the Temples Tree six hours before the final results. The Opposition was  embarrassed by his democratic departure and in order to cover up they have now cooked up stories.