Former Defense Secretary and presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa who arrived in Sri Lanka this morning said the civil suit notices served to him at a Trader Joe’s in Pasadena, California, were politically motivated targeting his candidacy at the upcoming presidential elections.
Speaking to journalists at the Silk Route lounge at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Rajapaksa accused what he called an LTTE-diaspora-affiliated NGO and unnamed groups in the country for orchestrating the move. He alleged that the Sri Lankan Consul General in California was also played an important role.
“Civil suits have been filed in connection with the death of a journalist and an individual who had been taken into custody, seeking compensation citing some responsibility on my part as Defence Secretary. According to US law, notice has to be served by civil institutes, unlike here. The way I see it, I was not served notice the appropriate way,” said Rajapaksa.
His attorneys in the US are currently taking steps to reject the notice in court, he said.
“The people of Sri Lanka, our MPs and Sri Lankans in the US have been very supportive in this. This was a politically motivated move. I’ve flown to the US about 10 times. There was no civil suit till now. This was done in connection with the presidential election.
“It was influenced by many sections. An NGO belonging to the LTTE diaspora, some sections in Sri Lanka and, sorry to say, the Consul General office in California also directed this. It’s really unfair to drag politics to such a low level,” he said, adding that it seeks to downgrade the work he carried out as Defence Secretary and also humiliate the country.
According to Rajapaksa, the process set in motion to renounce his American citizenship with the assistance of his attorneys in the US has been a success, and it will be finalised in Sri Lanka once he submits the relevant documents.
He did not take questions from journalists at the airport.