The government has reduced former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s security with immediate effect. About 42 police personnel including an Assistant Superintendent of Police attached to his security contingent have been withdrawn.
Rajapaksa, asked for comment, confirmed that 42 police personnel detailed to protect him had been removed. He said he had threats to his life as the wartime president with many hardcore LTTE carders being still at large. “My life is in danger,” he said, “some government members have also threatened to hang me,” he said.
Asked why his security had been reduced, the former President said he thought the government had sought to curtail his movements in the wake of the Joint Opposition’s successful May Day rally. “The government is mistaken if it thinks it can frighten me into submission by exposing me to danger,” Rajapaksa said. “Having realized that the days of their government are numbered, they are all out to stop me and the JO even by exposing my life to danger.”
Asked what he was planning to do, the former President said he saw no point in complaining to anyone in authority as the government controlled all state institutions and officials. He said the issue would be raised in Parliament.
All our efforts to contact Police Spokesman DIG Priyantha Jayakody were in vain last night as he did not answer his phone.
Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi, when he was asked whether he was aware that the former President’s had been further reduced, answered in the affirmative. However, he said the provision of VIP security came under the purview of the Law and Order Ministry.