By Jamila Husain
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had told some of his confidantes on Monday that he believed recent complaints of street name boards in Tamil language being vandalised had been done by a group of people who attempted to disrupt President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s upcoming visit to India.
The Prime Minister, over a telephone conversation with Senior DIG Ajith Rohana last Sunday night, had instructed that the matter be probed immediately and those responsible arrested.
He had then ordered officials at the Prime Minister’s office to put up the name boards claiming the heinous move aimed at creating a rift between the Tamil community and interim government and to strain Sri Lanka-India ties.
Meanwhile, officials from the Police Media Division (PMD) said following Prime Minister Rajapaksa’s orders, all DIGs, OICs and senior police officers stationed countrywide had been informed to remain vigilant in areas where street name boards had been vandalised. Officers had been instructed to scrutinise CCTV footage and identify all those responsible. Although investigations are ongoing, arrests have not been made so far.
On the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will visit India on November 29. This will be his first official visit after being elected to office.
The two leaders are expected to hold talks on wide-ranging issues during the visit deemed as a ‘fresh start’ between the interim government and Indian Government after ties were strained during the previous Rajapaksa regime with allegations that it was tilted towards China.