Defence Secretary Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunarathna said that there is not an iota of truth in remarks made by some people that the government is heading for military rule constricting democratic space for people.
He said this in response to questions raised by the journalists at a news briefing held on Saturday after paying homage to Chief Incumbent of Mihintale Rajamaha Vihare Ven. Walawahengunawewe Dhammarathana Thera.
He said “It is the police shouldered the responsibility of maintaining law and order in the country. The police have been instructed to create an environment where people can live peacefully and in harmony. If they find it difficult to control any emergency situation, we will deploy specially trained Police Special Task Force. If they also are not in a position to control it only, we will deploy the security forces on such situations.”
As pointed out by him, there is no intention of ruling the country militarily at all but an environment is being created so that every citizen can live in the country honourably without any differences of race or creed and the instructions have been given to the police accordingly.
He said that he had gone to meet the former Prime Minister to his office with the advice of the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and he had met the former Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and former Minister of Plantations, Naveen Dissanayake. He said the UNP leaders had a suspicion that their supporters would be harassed after the election but he ensured that such a situation would not arise at all. He said that he called the Acting Inspector General of Police and the Army Commander to the Ministry and informed that the Army had to be deployed in the event of an uncontrollable situation.
He also said that he instructed the IGP not to leave room anywhere for creating political unrest or disturbance and that any culprits are caught red-handed they should be arrested and brought before the law regardless of their political affiliation, race or religion. He had sent a message that the police officers in charge of the area concerned should be responsible for election violence if any. (Athula Bandara)