Foreign spies helped oust Mahinda – Gota



By Shamindra Ferdinando

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says that some countries had the wherewithal to overthrow democratically elected governments, though Sri Lanka lacked such capacity.

War veteran Rajapaksa points out that there had been many such interventions over the years in various parts of the world. Sri Lanka was a case in point, Rajapaksa said.

The ex- Defence Secretary was responding to a query on Derana 360 on Monday night whether he subscribed to his brother and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s allegation that the American, British and Indian intelligence services had got him ousted. Alleging that he had been a victim of a conspiracy involving intelligence services the former President said, in an interview with The Hindu, that India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was operating without the sanction of the central government. The comment was made ahead of former Sri Lankan leader’s one-on-one meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi.

Northern Provincial Councillor Dharmalingham Siddarthan is on record as having said that at the behest of the RAW, Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) assassinated two Jaffna district members of parliament, including his father Visvanather Dharmalingham (MP for Manipay) and K. Alalasundaram (MP for Kopay) in early September 1985.

Responding to another query, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that external intelligence services had subverted the former administration by taking advantage of what he called privileged status enjoyed by them.

Major countries maintained specialised units for clandestine operations outside their borders.

Asked whether he felt the intelligence services under him had failed his brother as they had failed to inform him of the then SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena’s move, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that secret services countered threats to national security. Rajapaksa insisted that intelligence services hadn’t been used for political work under any circumstances.

Well informed sources told The Island that Maithripala Sirisena’s plan had been brought to the notice of the then SLFP leadership several weeks before the defection but it had been ignored. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka had never acquired a capability to tap mobile phones though it could have helped anti-terrorist operations.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa paid a glowing tribute to intelligence services while recollecting the circumstances under which they managed to apprehend Kumaran Pathmathan in August 2009 and kill Gopi over one-year ago. Even Welle Suda had been apprehended in Pakistan during the previous administration, though he was brought to Colombo only after the change of the government in early January, the former Defence Secretary said.

Commenting on the assassination of The  Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickremetunga in early 2009, Rajapaksa said that the new government should continue with the investigations conducted so far and bring the killers to justice.

Dismissing as baseless allegations that he in his capacity as Secretary to the Ministry of Defence had death squads at his disposal, Rajapaksa said that similar allegations had been directed at previous governments.



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