Namal R denies involvement in H’tota violence

By Shamindra Ferdinando

UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa yesterday told The Island that he was not in any way involved in Thursday’s incidents at the Mattala airport as well as Hambantota port, where a group of UNP MPs was targeted by some ruling party supporters.

MP Rajapaksa said that he was in Trincomalee with the Sri Lankan Navy rugby team for a special training session, therefore he didn’t hear of the UNP MPs’ inspection tour. The MP was responding to a claim by Hambantota Mayor Eraj Ravindra Fernando that he rushed to the scene on Rajapaksa junior’s directive.

The Mayor claimed that he rushed to Hambantota port on the instructions of MP Rajapaksa, following an earlier incident at the Mattala airport.

MP Rajapaksa emphasized that he would never resort to violence under any circumstance.

UNP Kalutara District MP Ajith P. Perera told The Island that as the Hambantota Mayor had made several claims, including one implicating President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eldest son, the ruling SLFP should make an effort to establish the truth. It would be the responsibility on the part of the government to examine the circumstances under which the Hambantota Mayor armed with a pistol rushed to the scene. MP Perera accused police spokesman Ajith Rohana of making a foolish bid to protect those involved in the attack. An irate UNPer pointed out that the police never realized the parliamentary group from Colombo was accompanied by several photographers.

MP Perera said that the Hambantota Mayor also claimed that he had to intervene because UNP MP Sajith Premadasa’s supporters targeted the visiting MPs. Nothing could be as ridiculous as this, the MP said, adding that the SLFP should investigate the conduct of the local politician. Recalling the death of a British national at the hands of another Hambantota district politician some time ago, the UNPer decried an attempt to depict MP Premadasa as an adversary of those visiting Hambantota on Thursday.

Meanwhile, MP Premadasa told The Island that the country would be humiliated before the international community unless action was taken against those responsible for Thursday’s mayhem. The government couldn’t turn a blind eye to the deteriorating situation in Hambantota due to rampaging politicians.

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