Political witch-hunt afoot to block GR candidacy: SLPP

Tuesday, 1 October 2019 01:26 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Accuses Govt. of using AG to file cases against GR to prevent him from contesting presidential polls 
  • Pledges to take legal action against State officials engaged in abuse of power 

By Nuwan Senarathna

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) yesterday charged that the Government was attempting to block their presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa from contesting the upcoming presidential election by pushing ahead cases concerning his citizenship as his opponents could not defeat him through the ballot box. 

Speaking to the media at the SLPP head office, Chairman Prof. G.L Peiris said several cases had been filed against Rajapaksa but were recently dismissed by courts, which in his view underscored Rajapaksa’s innocence. 

“The Government knows they cannot defeat Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the presidential election so they are attempting to find reasons to arrest him and prevent him from contesting the election. This is a highly unethical practice aimed at defeating political opponents,” Prof. Peiris charged.

He argued that the alleged telephone conversation between interdicted Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe and Avant Garde Maritime Services Ltd. Chairman Nissanaka Senadhipathi had proven that the Government had abused its power to prevent Rajapaksa from contesting the presidential election.

Referring to a Sunday newspaper interview given by former Solicitor General Suhada Gamlath, Prof. Peiris alleged that the interview proves that a political witch-hunt against the Rajapaksa family is afoot. He claimed that the Government had been influencing the Attorney General’s (AG) Department to take legal action against the Rajapaksa family even though there was no clear reason to do so. 

“First it was Wickramasinghe’s telephone conversation, now the statements made by Gamlath proves that it is a political witch-hunt against the Rajapaksa family. The Government should not influence the Attorney General’s Department under any circumstances,” he declared.

He claimed that the Cabinet of Ministers had also had a hand in politicising the AG’s Department to file cases against the Rajapaksa family.  “According to Gamlath, the Cabinet of Ministers gave orders to the AG’s Department officials to take legal action against their political rivals. This is not a healthy practice to preserve the impartiality of the AG’s Department,” Prof. Peiris stated. He noted they would take legal action against State officials who abused their authority under a SLPP government. 

“This will not be a move against all State officials. Only those who have abused their power to fulfil the wishes of certain politicians will have to go before the court. This is only a move to protect the impartiality of State employees,” he said.

Pix by Lasantha Kumara