Several ministers including Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Ranjan Ramanayake, Nalin Bandara, Anura Kumara Dissanayake and the leader of the Gypsies band, Sunil Perera have been accused of engaging in activities that have defamed ex-President Mahinda Rajapakse during various TV talk shows. As a result of these practices, MR had sent letters of demand to these five individuals. Moreover, they have been charged one billion rupees each except for Minister Mangala Samaraweera who has been charged Rs.500 million.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, several of them expressed their thoughts on this move taken by the ex-President.
In his comments, Leader of the Gypsies band, Sunil Perera said everybody should have the freedom to voice their opinions. “During his regime people were not able to voice their opinions but people have that freedom now. I really don’t know what has made him take this action against me, but I think he should have a right to take action if he feels that I have done something to defame him.”
Kurunegala district MP Nalin Bandara said, “I still haven’t got it into my hands. They are trying to shut our mouths but I don’t think their attempts will be successful. We all have evidence to prove there have been malpractices taking place. If MR is planning to file cases against us and keep us silent, I think that will never happen. We will continue to reveal all corrupt practices done by him. He is contesting from Kurunegala district and he once battled with President Maithripala Sirisena and PM and is now trying to battle with us and I am quite happy about it. As a result MR has become even more unpopular due to these kinds of acts. Also I only mentioned that during the time of the CHOGM, MR and his clan has not settled a bill of Rs. 94 lakhs. So what happened to this sum?”
JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said he was happy to meet MR in courts. “I hope that all frauds done by mega projects and the information revealed from ongoing investigations could be produced before courts at some point.” (Kamanthi Wickramasinghe)