Poser from Fonseka to Gotabhaya | Daily News

Poser from Fonseka to Gotabhaya

 

Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday asked former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to explain as to why he purposefully kept a gas mask inside his vehicle on the day of the Piththala junction bomb attack.

He was addressing a press conference at his office in Battaramulla.

Replying to a media statement by the former Defence Secretary over his remark in Parliament recently that the bomb attack was orchestrated by Rajapaksa, Fonseka reiterated that his charge was based on strong evidence.

“Rajapaksa kept a gas mask inside his vehicle on this particular day. It is a known fact that sometimes the doors get locked following a bomb blast. The question we ask is whether he did not expect this bomb blast that day” he said.

“Gotabhaya did not come out of the vehicle until an injured Commando who was in the vehicle behind him came and took him out. The blood patch on his shirt was of that injured Commando’s. It was this blood patch that he showed his brother, former President Rajapaksa, and that photo was circulated all around the media. We ask him not to be a cardboard hero like this,” he added.

Repeating some remarks in his Parliament speech, Fonseka said: “I have doubts over this bomb attack as the LTTE never exploded bombs from this far. Nor they targeted bullet-proof cars. The bomb attack that targeted me was just two metres away from me.”

While refuting Rajapaksa’s claim that the car he used was only resistant to bullets and hand grenade, Fonseka said the car used by Rajapaksa had “Level 6 resistance”, adding that it could only be damaged if 20kgs of explosives were blasted in a manner that touched the surface of the car.

“The bomb that was fixed in the three-wheel was five kgs. There was no proof to say it was a suicide attack. It could have been exploded by remote control,” he said.

Fonseka said the former Defence Secretary does not need Army security, adding that the 50 army officers given for the security of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa should also be replaced with Police officers.

He said when Mahinda Rajapaksa was the Opposition Leader, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had no contacts with him.

“He had not called him for about 15 years, but I had been in touch with him. Gotabhaya only came after the nominations were handed over to the Presidential Election. They were not in good terms then,” he said. Fonseka replying to Rajapaksa’s comment that he repents appointing him as the Army Commander, said his way to the post of Army Commander was cleared during the period of former President Chandrika Kumaratunaga, adding that Rajapaksa’s intervention was irrelevant in that regard.

Fonseka commenting on the uproar in Parliament last week, said his speech was not against the Standing Orders.

“The Prime Minister has the right to ask me to reply and I have the right to speak as my name was mentioned. We all knew the former President’s security issue would come up in Parliament, therefore I had lined up the relevant facts to speak. The Joint Opposition’s conduct was appalling. I have a problem over the Speaker’s decision too because the Kalutara District Joint Opposition MP who attacked MP Sandith Samarasinghe was not given any punishment,” he said.

Fonseka replying to charges on his vehicle to be purchased said what he did was actually save money by ordering a less expensive vehicle.

“I decided to buy a Benz car which is about Rs. 40 million, but I negotiated with the company to further reduce it to Rs. 35 million,” he said.

Fonseka also refuted allegations over renting a building for his ministry, adding that it was done following the proper procedure.

“The price per square foot of this building is Rs. 200, if there is anybody to offer me a building that satisfies all the requirements cheaper than that I am ready to consider it,” he said.


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