President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s address to the nation following the capture of strategic Elephant Pass confirm suspicions about the circumstances under which Major General (retd) Janaka Perera was killed at Anuradhapura, Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe asserted yesterday.
He said that the President had omitted Janaka Perera’s name from the list of key figures killed and the violent incidents he catalogued during his address, and attributed to "an international conspiracy to discredit the government".
"This boils down to the fact that Perera was not assassinated as a result of this so-called ‘international conspiracy’ and hence, the government should take responsibility for it", Wickremesinghe noted.
He was speaking at a religious ceremony at the Sanchi Viharaya in Mihintale to mark the third month remembrance of Janaka Perera and several other UNP members in an explosion during the opening of a new party office at Anuradhapura.
Wickremesinghe said that the President had listed the killing of TNA parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham, the abduction and assault of an English newspaper journalist shortly after Thoppigala was liberated, the burning of a refugee camp in Vavuniya, the assassination of MP Maheswaran, the attack on Sirasa and the killing of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga to "an international conspiracy to tarnish the image of the government".
An impartial international probe should be launched into the killing of Janaka Perera as the President himself has now placed this dastardly act outside the scope of an international conspiracy, the UNP leader said.
"The President did not pin the blame for Perera’s killing on the LTTE either", he pointed out. "This means that it was the government which was responsible for this brutal slaying".
He asked if there was an ‘international conspiracy’ as claimed by the President, did Sri Lanka take up issue with the foreign envoy representing the country here, summon the Sri Lankan envoy in that country or visit the country in question and lodge a formal complaint in this regard.