Harin complains to IGP against President’s remarks on him

10 January 2021 12:05 pm - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Samagi Jana Balawegaya(SJB) MP Harin Fernando has written to IGP C. D. Wickramaratne saying that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa insinuated harm on his life in his public remarks made in Uhana, Ampara.

He said he would copy it to the Speaker of Parliament, the Attorney General, heads of foreign missions in Colombo and the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, and on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.

The letter says , “Yesterday, I saw video footage of President Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivering remarks at an event in Uhuna, Ampara. In his remarks, the President refers to me by name and addresses speeches made by me in Parliament in which I referred to his first name, Nandasena. The President stated that he has a peaceful side and a dark side, and that he is perfectly capable of returning to his dark roots from his tenure as Secretary of Defence.

Full letter sent by MP Harin Fernando

10th January 2021

Mr. C.D. Wickremeratne,
Inspector General of Police,
Police Headquarters,
Colombo 01

Dear Mr. Wickremaratne,

Yesterday, I saw video footage of President Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivering remarks at an event in Uhuna, Ampara. In his remarks, the President refers to me by name and addresses speeches made by me in Parliament in which I referred to his first name, Nandasena. The President stated that he has a peaceful side and a dark side, and that he is perfectly capable of returning to his dark roots from his tenure as Secretary of Defence.

As you can see from the annexed video clip and transcript, the President fails to differentiate between a seditious, genocidal terrorist tyrant and a legislator exercising his fundamental right to freedom of speech in Parliament. He must be reminded that I have never engaged with terrorists. I have never bribed terrorists to prevent the Tamil people from voting. I have not embraced Karuna Amman, who has butchered more police officers than any man who ever lived. Above all, I am, and have always been, a citizen of Sri Lanka and no other country.

The President clearly insinuates that he is capable of having me “killed like a dog” if I continue saying things that displease him. So long as he continues to fail in his duties, I must do my own duty by continuing to say things that displease him, whatever the risk to my life. Therefore, I must bring this matter to your urgent attention. Given the serious nature of the threat made by President Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the security forces and Minister of Defence, I have no reason to doubt him when he implies that he is capable of doing me harm.

But I am stunned that the President is so agitated simply because I mentioned his first name. Presidents have long been called by their names or initials. No one has been threatened with death for using the names “JRJ”, “Premadasa”, “DB”, “Chandrika”, “Mahinda” or “Sirisena”. Unless the President proves otherwise, I find it difficult to believe that members of the Buddhist clergy have truly advised him to resort to violence. My understanding as a Catholic is that Buddhism shuns violence and espouses peace.

I am painfully aware that many journalists, activists and Members of Parliament who criticized the President when he was Defence Secretary have since either disappeared or been assassinated. In many of these cases, the attacks were preceded by implied threats or frivolous litigation initiated by politicians and officials including Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Indeed, it is ironic that the President turned his guns on me exactly 12 years after Lasantha Wickrematunge, one such man who fearlessly expressed his thoughts and opinions, was assassinated.

I ask that you kindly arrange without delay, to provide me with adequate security against this grave threat to my life and to my duty to speak freely on behalf of the 2.8 million voters who supported the Samagi Jana Balawegaya. It is my fundamental right to say what I wish without fear of being summarily executed like a terrorist.

Mr. Wickremaratne, I must remind you that you are the Inspector-General of Police for the Republic of Sri Lanka, not the personal servant of Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Protecting the life and liberty of Members of Parliament discharging their duties is not a personal favour I am asking of you, but an exercise of your solemn duty to defend the Constitution of the Republic, which you are sworn to do. As a career police officer, I trust that you do not want to be remembered as the IGP who oversaw the first assassination of a Sri Lankan Parliamentarian since the end of the civil war.

For the record, this is the first time I have ever received a credible death threat. I am used to democratic politics, where politicians engage each other and debate their ideas and opinions. This is my first experience of a political opponent trying to terrorize me into silence using fear and the threat of violence. Since I refuse to be silenced, if I am killed, I must assume it will be at the behest of the only man who has ever threatened to kill me.

In the hope that it will result in additional pressure on Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa to desist from the criminal course of action he appears to be contemplating, I am copying this letter to the Speaker of Parliament, the Attorney General, heads of foreign missions in Colombo and the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, and on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.

Yours faithfully,

Harin Fernando MP

 
 

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  Comments - 13

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  • BigEars Sunday, 10 January 2021 12:37 PM

    I too was surprised at the thuggish nature of the speech Gota made. We should all know his background and Harin needs to take care. We are seeing what happened in a great country like the USA.

    Buddhika Sunday, 10 January 2021 12:45 PM

    do you want a milk bottle on the side? You insulted the Buddhist monks the Catholic Priests but you cant take some in return you want to run to mommy?? get a life man

    Gayan Sunday, 10 January 2021 12:59 PM

    Wish he had done this before Easter bombing too, hundreds of lives could have been saved.

    Nomads Sunday, 10 January 2021 01:03 PM

    Well said harin. You have the guts to speak your heart out . Do not let your guard down against the criminals . Salute you.

    Sandy Sunday, 10 January 2021 01:04 PM

    Useless noise

    Asanka Sunday, 10 January 2021 01:18 PM

    Well said Harin. But please take care

    lal Sunday, 10 January 2021 02:05 PM

    Let the show begin

    Abu Sunday, 10 January 2021 02:11 PM

    If MPs can express their free will and opinions in the parliament and what is the point to have it . This MP merely expressed his democratic views and yet he is indimidiated by some people soon after the president spoke about him. Whither Sri Lankan democracy?

    Joshua Sunday, 10 January 2021 02:54 PM

    Old habits are difficult to part with.....what can President do? Coming colours no good for the country already ruined by politicians

    Bushel Sunday, 10 January 2021 02:59 PM

    This is not the first time Harin harping his mouth. Another Silva that was sent to dustbin.

    harshass Sunday, 10 January 2021 04:37 PM

    Mr President, Dont become another Trump. Be a statesman.

    Buddhist Sunday, 10 January 2021 06:50 PM

    Gotabaya should resign. Gama samaga pilisandara or Gamen sita marana tharjana?

    Lanka putha Monday, 11 January 2021 01:58 PM

    So what. Nothing will happen. Igp will be out even if he reads your complaint. Put up with it or move on


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