Despite various groups having celebrated the LTTE’s “Maveerar Nal” (Great Heroes Day) in the north, neither untoward incident had happened nor had the national security was compromised by those events, Defence Secretary, Retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne said on Saturday.
“This is a democratic country, a country where people have freedom to do anything that does not affect the national security. Ours is not a oppressive government” he stated.
He made these comments while responding to the questions posed to him by the journalists after his first visit to the Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera and the Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy after assuming duties as the Defence Secretary.
He also said that the government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would not allow hate speech against any community or racist comments to spread.
The Defence Secretary called on the Tamil National Alliance, (TNA) to join hands with the government to develop the North if they claim that they were the real representatives of the Tamil People.
He expressed hope that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa would initiate a special programme to uplift the lives of the northern people who are a poorest section of the Sri Lankan population.
Commenting on the deployment of army throughout the country by the new government, the Defence Secretary stated that it was the police that would act to safeguard law and order, but three armed forces would be called in only in case of emergency.
Responding to a question on the demand by some Tamil leaders to de-induction of troops from the north, he said that army camps would not be relocated just because certain political parties demand to do so. “Army’s presence would not hinder the normal day-to-day life of the people anywhere in the country. In fact the presence of the armed forces in the vicinity is good” he observed.
The Defence Secretary called on the TNA to join hands with the govt. to develop the North