By Sumaiya Rizvi
The main opposition, the UNP today called on President Mahinda Rajapakse’s son Yoshita Rajapakse to hand over his resignation if the government has decided on compulsory retirement for 14 Army officers based on their political involvements.
“Yoshitha Rajapaksa must be the first to retire as there is video and photograph evidence to show that he actively took part at political rallies unlike the 14 Army officers who are forced to retire,” UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara said today at a press conference held at the party office.
He charged that there could not be one rule for the Rajapaksa’s and another for the public. According to Jayasekara, retired military officers that helped General Sarath Fonseka during his campaign are being hunted down and arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
“The CID has arrested 35 retired Army officers that helped General Fonseka during the campaign and are keeping all of them under special powers granted to the Defence secretary that allows their arrest for 30 days without reason,” Jayasekara said.
He further said that these retired officers are confined to one room within the CID premises and they fear that charges will be framed against them on the conspiracy to assassinate the president.
Speaking to Daily Mirror earlier Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) Director General Lakshman Hulugalle said Yoshitha Rajapaksa was not involved in politics but had attended certain rallies of the President as a family member.
Hulugalle also said the Defence Ministry had decided to grant compulsory retirement to Army officers who actively participated in political work prior and during the recently concluded Presidential elections.
Hulugalle in his statement said “the Defence ministry had received Information with regard to a handful of Armed Forces officers who had actively participated in political work prior and during the recently concluded Presidential elections.
The statement further said the government had decided to terminate their services by awarding compulsory retirement irrespective of their ranks.