Written by Keshala Dias
28 Mar, 2017 | 8:52 pm
Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had denied charges made by Minister Sarath Fonseka on the existence of a secret military outfit that reportedly targeted journalists.
Speaking to the Foreign Correspondents Association last evening, the former defence secretary had said that if such an outfit existed, the then Army Commander must be held accountable.
The BBC Sinhala service, quoting Rajapaksa says, the then government investigated the disappearances and assassinations of journalists and the details uncovered at present were uncovered during the previous investigations as well.
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also stated that he has not decided yet on a possible entry to active politics, adding that he is willing to work with a leader whose policies are agreeable.
According to the former Defence Secretary, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has always hinted that Gotabhaya does not know politics.
Indian media quotes Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as saying that during the time of former Indian National Security Adviser, Shiv Shankar Menon, the congress-led government had been very supportive of Sri Lanka.
He says that as soon as the BJP came to power and Ajit Doval became NSA, the China issue was brought to the fore.
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says that Doval had twice asked him to cancel the China-funded Colombo Port City project and take back the southern container terminal at the Colombo port from the Chinese.
In this context, he referred to the alleged visit of a Chinese nuclear submarine in November 2014 which created a flutter in India to which Gotabhaya adds that, “firstly, it was not a nuclear submarine, and secondly, it is not true that the visits by Chinese submarines were secrets.”
He says that the Indian High Commissioner had been informed about the visits of the vessels and these visits had taken place with prior permission from the Sri Lankan government.
Against this background, Gotabhaya said that he is intrigued by India’s silence over the present Sri Lankan government handing over 80% of the shares in Hambantota port to a Chinese state- owned company for 99 years.
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