SJB to ‘protect’ Harin 24/7:

By Pamodi Waravita 


Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa has said that he pledges to protect the life of MP Harin Fernando at all times, in reference to a letter sent by Fernando to IGP C.D. Wickramaratne claiming he fears for his life.

 “As the Leader of SJB, along with our entire team of parliamentarians, I unconditionally stand for Harin Fernando’s life. I stand for the security of his life, 24 hours of the day, all 365 days,” said Premadasa, speaking at an event on 9 January.

In his letter sent yesterday (10), Fernando complained to the IGP about remarks made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 9 January in Ampara.

 “In his remarks, the President refers to me by name and addresses the speech made by me in Parliament in which I referred to him by his first name, Nandasena. During the speech, the President clearly insinuated that he is capable of having me ‘killed like a dog’ if I continue saying things that displease him,” Fernando alleged in his letter.

Premadasa condemned the remarks of the President, saying that the President and the Government are solely responsible for the life of MP Fernando from the moment the President made his speech.

In a statement released yesterday, MP Eran Wickramaratne stated that as the main Opposition, the SJB requests the Police to tighten security for Fernando as he believes that there is a greater threat to his life following the President’s remarks.

The comments in question were made by the President while participating in the “Discussion with the Village” programme in Lathugala, Uhana on Saturday.

“Recently, a parliamentarian called Harin Fernando referred to me as ‘Nandasena’ in Parliament. But Nandasena Gotabaya has two personalities. I can be Defence Secretary Gotabaya too. Did you see what happened to Prabakaran who bombed me when I was Defence Secretary? It finished with him being killed like a dog. I can be ready for anything.” 

When contacted by The Morning yesterday, Presidential Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said that he is unable to comment on the President’s remarks. However, he said that the Opposition is claiming there is a threat to Fernando’s life due to ulterior political motives.