Capitalizing the recent sampur outburst by Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa alleged that the incident was part of a project that began last January to demoralize the country’s war heroes.
Speaking on the recent incident where Ahamed rebuked a Navy Officer, Rajapaksa said, “We suspect that this latest incident is part of the project that began in January last year to demoralise our war heroes. I call upon the government not to sweep this latest incident under the carpet the way they dodged taking action over the incident in the north. It is the duty of the government to formally investigate the conduct of the EP Chief Minister and to take steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur anywhere in the country in future.”
In a statement issued today, the former President noted that the fact that this ugly incident took place in the presence of the American ambassador has added to its seriousness.
Rajapaksa reminded that on a previous occasion when TNA politicians forcibly entered an army camp in the north, the government went out of its way to portray this as a minor incident and to sweep it under the carpet.
“This is now the second such incident. The incidents that took place in the north and in Sampur should not have taken place anywhere in the country. Politicians in any part of the country should not seek to enter army camps without obtaining prior permission or giving due notice. Likewise no politician in any part of the country should ever speak to a uniformed member of the armed forces at a public meeting the way the EP Chief Minister spoke to that naval officer,” he said.
Rajapaksa said that ‘deliberate’ insults directed in this manner by the political authorities at the armed forces that rid the country of the scourge of terrorism, should stop.
However despite Rajapaksa criticism, it was during Rajapaksa’s rule that Army Intelligence officer, Major Chandana Pradeep, was asked to plead guilty over a brawl at the Hilton in 2012 involving Malaka Silva, who had started the fight. The Major was later transferred from the Military Intelligence Corps. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the Secretary of Defence at that time.