Fall in workers’ remittances – The Island
By Shamindra Ferdinando
SLPP MP Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Sarath Weerasekera says Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa did not decide to resign on 09 May 09 although SLPP MPs were urged to bring supporters to Temple Trees for a meeting. Weerasekera said so when The Island asked him why he skipped the Temple Trees meeting. The former public security minister said then-prime minister Rajapaksa, in a conversation with him on May 8, denied reports that the latter was planning to step down the following day. MP Namal Rajapaksa, however, had asked a group of MPs and others to bring supporters to express their support for the prime minister, MP Weerasekera said.
Weerasekera said he was among those contacted by MP Namal Rajapaksa. The former Navy chief of staff said the failure of law enforcement authorities and the military to respond quickly and decisively to a threat of lawbreaking and order had led to disaster at a time when the world’s attention was on Sri Lanka due to the deteriorating financial situation. MP Weerasekera asked why the police refrained from firing at least once in the air when mobs arrived at the houses of some MPs, which were destroyed. For more than 48 hours, mobs had ruled the country, the MP alleged, demanding an explanation why the shoot-on-sight orders had not been issued as soon as mobs began attacking MPs’ homes. MP Weerasekera said serious accusations made by SLPP members, particularly Wimal Weerawansa, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana and Mahindananda Aluthgamage cannot be ignored. They accused some sections of the SLPP of conspiring to start the violence and the police and armed forces turned a blind eye to retaliatory attacks across the country.
New Public Security Minister Tiran Alles said he would order a full investigation into the May 9 incidents. Minister Alles said it when The Island asked what he would do in the context of allegations that police facilitated attacks on protesters in Kollupitiya and Fort police areas. of Public Administration and CD Wickremaratne, Inspector General of Police, prevented Deshabandu Tennakoon, Senior DIG, Colombo, from mob attacking the protesters.
Former minister Weerasekera said the government, the SLPP and the police should be clear on the matter. MP Weerasekera said the government had mishandled the challenge posed by those who skillfully exploited the economic crisis. “Perhaps one of the main mistakes was allowing the public to block roads. Now it has become a style. Interested parties are also exploiting the media and social media. The government seems clueless,” said said MP Weerasekera, urging the government to look into the developments.MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage also said The Island, the SLPP senior leadership ignored repeated warnings. The former agriculture minister questioned whether those who advised the cabinet of ministers chaired by the president deliberately deceived them.