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Security lapse at slfp convention: How did it happen? - EDITORIAL

5 May 2015 05:21 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Imagine a situation where a gunman entered a meeting where President Mahinda Rajapaksa had attended a few months ago. Would the authorities have taken one week to arrest the miscreant? Imagine a situation where the man entered the meeting had admitted that he was a member of the security detail of a sworn political enemy of President Rajapaksa. What sort of stories would the media have carried about the man then?

It is interesting to note that under the ‘yahapalanaya’ a man with military commando training and armed with a pistol surreptitiously enters a gathering which the country’s President attends and the law enforcement authorities who find the pistol in his possession just shoo him off the place without arresting him. Yahapalanaya or good governance does not means lethargy, as in the case of arresting corrupt politicians and officials of the past regime. In other words, this is not yahapalanaya, but sheer lethargy, if not abetting crimes.

In the first place, why did commando soldier Senaka Kumara enter the SLFP’s Hambantota District convention held at the Angunakolapelessa Urban Council hall on April 25 armed with a pistol, having known very well that President Maithripala Sirisena was to attend it? We should not be so naive or irrational to assume that the training of a commando soldier does not include the concerns of security of VIPs and VVIPs. To put it in simple language, he cannot say that he did not know it was improper to bring a pistol to a place where the President was. 

Then, to the astonishment of any ordinary person who knows the sharpness of security personnel very well due to the thirty-year long war, the PSD that wasresponsible for the security of the President had released the commando soldier once the vigilant STF personnel who detected the pistol had handed him over to them. If not for the media outcry over the incident the man would have been still at large and never be taken into custody.

The commando soldier is said to be a member of the security detail of parliamentarian and former President Rajapaksa’s son Namal and the entire country knows what kind of relationship exists between the former President’s family and the incumbent President. President Sirisena himself has already said more than once that he would have been six feet underground had he been defeated at the January 8 presidential election. Hence it is natural for anyone to arrive at his or her own conclusion over the incident. However, given the seriousness of the incident itself, it is unfair by Namal Rajapaksa for anyone to jump to hasty conclusions against him without strong valid factual evidence.

But on the other hand he too should not confuse the country by saying one day that he was unaware of the incident, which might probably be true, while saying on another day that it was a water bottle and not a pistol that the soldier had carried. 

This is a country where a leader, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was assassinated in 1959 by those disgruntled by his economic policies and also one should not forget the aborted military coup in 1962 by a similarly distraught group over economic reasons. Greed or economic gains by politicians have been such that even local politicians such as Nalanda Ellawala had been killed by their opponents. Why should there not be people who want to eliminate the anti-corruption drive by the Maithripala Sirisena government now, though it is so slow?

In spite of our prayers, if some disgruntled group succeeds in that manoeuvre, the entire achievements the country gained through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that was adopted on April 28 would be rolled back, using the Articles of the same Amendment, leading the country back to a despotic era.
During the war we experienced a situation where the media gave extensive coverage for weeks when a bomb went off while in most cases it was just an inside story in newspapers when a similarly huge  bomb was detected before it could do its dastardly deed. Therefore, the authorities should not take this incident lightly because nothing untoward happened. They must look into the circumstances that led to the STF and the PSD to avoid arresting the armed soldier immediately, apart from probing into the background of the commando soldier’s highly sensitive visit to the Angunakolapelessa UC hall on April 25.

  Comments - 1

  • At Tuesday, 05 May 2015 04:39 PM

    i thought my English is poor but after reading this artical I think otherwise.

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