Plot to assassinate President -Attempt to use retired Army officers and deserters -Lists sent to arrest several people
Posted on January 28th, 2010

Rafik Jalaldeen – The Daily News

Media Centre for National Security Director General Lakshman Hulugalle said a plot to assassinate President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his family members and the Government’s top officials by Sarath Fonseka has been uncovered.

Addressing the media yesterday, he said since the Opposition was aware it was heading for defeat in the Presidential election, a plot was hatched to assassinate the President and his family members either before or after the Presidential election. “They had hired 70 rooms in two prestigious hotels,” Hulugalle said.

“They have hired retired Army officers and Army deserters to assassinate the President and his family members,” he added.

Hulugalle noted that they were planning to assassinate the President while he was passing the Lake House roundabout to go to Temple Trees and assassinate the Defence Secretary when he was passing the Lake House roundabout to go to the Defence Ministry.

A pre -poll result on a pro UNP website showed that both parties locked on 50 percent. Fearing that Fonseka will be defeated at the poll, they planned to assassinate the President. They also planned to bring a large number of JVP supporters onto the streets and protest against the election result. All their efforts were foiled by the Government, Hulugalle said.

Additional Defence Secretary Willi Gamage said Opposition Presidential Candidate Sarath Fonseka has sent a list of names to several places, of those to be arrested including top Government officials, people engaged in the election campaign and some media personnel.

“Since they realized that they would be defeated or barely get 50 percent of the vote they planned to assassinate the President to get a grip on power by using Army deserters and retired Army officers.

They planned to use retired Army officers who were to accompany the police to identify the people who were opposed to them. A list of names were sent to the Airport to block people leaving the country and another team to round up and “ƒ”¹…”arrest’ certain people,” he added.

Gamage said at no other Presidential election did a defeated candidate conduct himself in such a manner. “This is the first time in history that such a move has been made by a defeated candidate,” he said.

Former IGP Chandra Fernando said there were many conspiracies by the Opposition to win the election using websites, SMS and Face Book. They have mentioned in a website that the public would see the power of the Army after the Presidential election.

Queried as to who was that Army, Fernando said there is no secret Army in the country. “They are talking about their illegal Army who fled from their duties and retired. They were used on several occasions during the election campaign and also after the election. Around 20 Army deserters and retired officers were arrested in Gokeralla. Ten others were arrested outside a hotel when they were with Fonseka. Three suspects who were spreading rumours and sending false SMS messages had been taken into custody.”

“A prominent female UNP supporter is to be arrested in connection with sending these rumours through SMSs,” he added.

Answering a question whether Fonseka would be arrested if the plot to assassinate the President was proved, Hulugalle said a thorough investigation has begun and if Fonseka’s involvement was proved, he will be arrested.

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