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JO rejects President’s allegations

In response to President Maithripala Sirisena’s speech on Wednesday, May 31, the Joint Opposition said allegations made with regard to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were unfounded.

Issuing a statement, its national organizer Dullas Alahapperuma
said President’s allegations were rejected in the strongest possible terms.

He said the President made certain allegations against his predecessor with regard to the use of a helicopter in the aftermath of his defeat, taking all security vehicles assigned to the Presidential Secretariat, and explosive detectors, and influencing investigations into the killing of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen.

The statement said Mr Rajapaksa realized his impending defeat by 2.00 a.m. on January 9, following the Presidential Election in 2015, and got ready to leave his office despite advice by some of his close associates that he could stay there till the new President took the oath.

Mr Alahapperuma said Mr Rajapaksa displayed his statesmanship and vacated his office.

He said Mr Rajapaksa used a helicopter for the purpose as the President, who could stay in power till the new President was sworn in.

“In this exercise, he did not contact any official yet to be appointed. He took the decision as the then Head of State. After ten hours of Mr Rajapaksa leaving his office, President Sirisena was sworn in. Therefore, President’s allegations about the unlawful use of helicopter were baseless,” he said.

He said Mr Rajapaksa retained only the security detail and vehicles required for him in keeping with threat assessment.

Referring to the allegations that explosive detectors were taken away, he said it was a total falsehood.

He said President Sirisena did not carry out any investigation into it for the last three-and-half-years if there were any.

Commenting on allegations regarding the killing of Wasim Thajudeen, he said it was proverbially similar to the festering wound of a beggar.

He said the Government could not complete investigations leading to the connection on this issue, and therefore various allegations had been fabricated and circulated in the social media.