Kavindya Chris Thomas
A collective of retired senior military officers yesterday (27) took to the public arena, opposing the alleged Governmental move to arrest former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Under the banner of ‘War Heroes for the Nation’, representing a collective of retired senior officers of the tri-forces, speaking at a press briefing yesterday, they claimed that the collective had been organized as a result of the recent reports on a Government move to arrest Rajapaksa. This collective was led by retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne and retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara.
“Any attempt to arrest the former Defence Secretary would be the downfall of this country and the peace that has been built,” Gunaratne emphasized adding, “the Government is attempting to arrest this war hero while another part of the country is celebrating those who unleashed a separatist war on the country for thirty three years.”
Rear Admiral Ananda Peiris, addressing the media, noted that President Maithripala Sirisena should take direct steps to disallow this attempt to arrest Rajapaksa. “If he has committed some mistake, we are sure that he should be pardoned. The President had pardoned a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam member who attempted to kill him; therefore, this should not be a problem.
“Individuals like Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka would not have been the Commander of the Army, if not for people like Rajapaksa.
But now we see him, making the most ungrateful comments against Rajapaksa hiding behind his political position.”
The collective also addressed several other related matters including the alleged move to bring the former Defence Secretary into the mainstream political arena, pending the Local Government election.
Weerasekara in response noted that the decision to bring anyone to national politics is decided by the people of the country, and therefore the people will decide when the time comes.
The collective also denied any possibility of a military unrest, as a result of such an arrest