SLPP MP Dr. Ramesh Pathirana dropped a bombshell in Parliament yesterday (18) claiming Police did not prevent SLPP supporters from attacking peaceful protesters on 9 May, on the instructions of Public Security Ministry Secretary Jagath Alwis and IGP Chandana Wickramaratne.
Dr. Pathirana said they were informed that former Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa would resign and people from many areas flocked to Temple Trees to bid farewell to Rajapaksa.
“I was at Temple Trees on 9 May. We had been informed that former PM would resign.
Therefore, I visited Temple Trees with a group of supporters from Galle. Many innocent people who genuinely adore Mahinda Rajapaksa were present to bid farewell. However, several MPs provoked the supporters to attack GotaGoGama. This is the bitter truth and we have to accept that,” he said.
Speaking further, Dr. Pathirana said that when some people, who attended the meeting, were on their way to attack the peaceful protesters he phoned the Western Province SDIG Deshabandu Tennakoon and requested him to prevent the attack.
“SDIG Tennakoon assured me that the Police would prevent the attack. He said the Police had placed road barricades. After that, I went to the President’s House for a meeting. While I was at the President’s House, former MP Ashu Marasinghe called me and said clashes would be inevitable. He requested me to warn the President and to ask for his intervention so as to avoid the imminent tragedy. I then informed the President instantly,” Pathirana added.
However, when the President phoned SDIG Tennakoon he claimed the IGP instructed them not to prevent ‘attackers’ entering Galle Face. “MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake is right. It was the IGP and the Public Security Ministry Secretary who instructed the Police to let the goons attack the peaceful protesters at Galle Face,” he stressed.
“The President then instructed SDIG Tennakoon to prevent the attack. The SDIG had informed the President that IGP Wickramaratne had instructed the Police not to prevent the attacks. The President had then responded, “I am the President and I order you to stop this.’ It was after that the Police used force to disperse the attackers,” Pathirana said.
BY Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake