President of the newly formed Sinhala Organization for the Protection of War-heroes (OPW) Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera yesterday lashed out at President Maithripala Sirisena over a statement the latter had made recently branding patriots as extremists.
“The current government hates the word, patriotism,” Nalaka Thera said, adding that the head of state should not have made such a statement. “There are no extremists in Colombo. We are not extremists but patriots. We love this country and we want to save our war heroes and protect the peace we won,” he added.
President Maithripala Sirisena visited the Thilippalei area in Jaffna district to look into the well-being of people living in the Welfare Centre for more than 25 years. More than 1,500 Tamil people from Palali, Kankesanturai and Mailadi areas who were displaced due to government action have lived in this Welfare Centre for the past 25 years and at present they are being faced with many difficulties. The Sri Lankan Army has refused to give back their lands.
Nalaka Thera said the new organisation had been formed to protect the war heroes from local and international ‘War Crime’ threats and to look after their families and to ensure their welfare. “At present the war heroes are being arrested in order to gain cheap political advantages, he sad.
The OPW is led by Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera, Witharandeniye Nanda Thera, Sisira Jayakody, Jayantha Amaraweera, Dr. Wasantha Bandara and Manohara de Silva PC.
Retired Major Ajith Prasanna urged the government to release the war heroes in custody and being questioned at the CID. He alleged that the war heroes had been arrested as part of a government witch hunt.