Former Minister of Law and Order MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara said that there is a serious threat to the national security of the country and the incident that happened in Vavunathivu recently was not an isolated one. He stressed that criminals tend to emerge in the country in the absence of a Prime Minister, ministers and the government.
He held President Maithripala Sirisena accountable for the present stalemate and anarchy in the country.
Below are the excerpts of the conversation MP Madduma Bandara had with Panchamee Hewavissenti.
How do you, as the former Minister of Law and Order, view the country’s present security situation in the absence of stable government consisting of a Prime Minister, Cabinet of Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers?
I must mention that the confidence that citizens of this country have on the safety and the security has been blatantly breached post 26 October. During past three and a half years, under the regime of Good Governance Government, no incident that threatens the national security took place in the country.
To the dismay and the petrifaction of all, we recently heard the terrifying news that two policemen were killed in Vaunathivu, Batticaloa by individuals suspected to be former LTTE cadres. This is a very critical condition. People are raising concerns with regard to the re-emergence of terrorists.
The braggarts, who keep on boasting that they eliminated terrorism completely from the soils of Sri Lanka, have miserably failed in thwarting incidents of that nature which pose a serious threat to national security.
After 26 October, the Ministry of Law and Order was brought under the purview of the President. I opine that the Ministry of Law and Order should not be functioned under the purview of President. A separate minister should be appointed to execute the responsibilities of the ministry. The reason is that the President hardly possesses time to attend to the affairs of that ministry which is of vital importance to the national security.
The opponents alleged that drug mafia as well as underworld activities were intensified during our regime. On the contrary, such unwholesome activities have been increased after 26 October.
The Head of the State downrightly contravenes the civil law and he is a bad role model to the citizens. Criminals know that the country is in bedlam and law and order is disabled. So, they are encouraged to perpetrate more crimes.
I perceive that there is a serious menace to the security of North and Eastern areas of the country and the activities of other mafia such as drug and underworld have aggravated again.
In short, I can say that people have fear in their hearts with regard to the national security.
A proposal was brought in the Parliament to curtail the security detail of former Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa. If that happens, his life will be under threat. Why does the Opposition want to jeopardize the life of such a significant personality of the country?
We agree that Mahinda Rajapaksa should be given the security detail of a former President. That will not be curtailed. Even prior to Mahinda Rajapaksa becoming the Premier in an illegal manner, we allocated 204 security personnel to him. What we stress is that he should not be grated the security of Prime Minister.
After Mahinda Rajapaks and the group acquired our ministries by a constitutional coup, the security detail of the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, state ministers and the deputy ministers were pared forthwith.
The Interim Order was issued by the Court of Appeal that the Prime Minister and the ministers are not lawful. Hence, the Premiership of Mahinda Rajapaksa does not remain valid and the Prime Minister’s security should be removed from him.
The President is reprimanded as making arbitrary decisions that can harm the sovereignty and the integrity of the country. Does the Opposition plan to impeach President?
In order to pass an impeachment, we require 2/3 rd majority in the Parliament. At present we lack that number of MPs supporting the impeachment against President.
Everyone would agree if I say that President Maithripala Sirisena is not clear-headed and acts in a lunatic manner. It is evident that he is baffled and bewildered and lacks sense.
President Sirisena ignominiously contravened the constitution. He appointed a Prime Minister who cannot command the majority in the Parliament. Following the interim injunction, there is no government in the country. The President plunged the country into anarchy.
I believe that, if he continues to act insanely by jeopardizing the national security and country’s sovereignty, even more MPs will come forward to impeach him since we cannot have an insane President ruling the country.
Your government has been working with President Maithripala Sirisena for over three years. Weren’t you able to sense that the President was planning to change the Prime Minister and the ministers?
I admit that there was a mismatch and disputes among the political parties in the coalition government. Yes, we sensed that he was not working in compliance with UNP. Once during the Cabinet meeting President cried out loud, “ if this state of affairs continues, I will set fire to the country and leave”. Although we didn’t pay serious attention to what he meant, it is evident now. Ironically saying, President has set fire to the country and the country is on fire right now.
President has assuredly said that he would not be working with Ranil Wickremesinghe under any circumstance. In this context, how can the UNP form a stable government?
As I feel Presdient Maithripala Sirisena has a serious issue in dealing with people. He cannot work in collaboration with anyone.
He claimed that he can never see eye to eye with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa since he has ill-treated him to a great degree and would murder him. Today, he alleges Ranil Wickremesinghe the same manner. As I feel, he has a phobia that somebody would slay him.
Even President’s staff finds it difficult to work with him and he changes his secretaries regularly.
That is the nature of his character. He has clearly proven that it is his personal issue that he cannot work harmoniously with others.
He is presently fighting a serious psychological battle within.
However, we regret of appointing a highly ineligible person to the portfolio of President.
Many are of the view that President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa lost their popularity among the public due to their recent acts. Do you agree with that?
Certainly! Their boasted popularity has now become vain. I agree that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had a great reputation among the public. He himself ruined it after conniving with President Maithripala Sirisena to form an illegal government.
He has proven to the public that he has an insatiable craving for power. A No Confidence Motion was brought against him and his government and even the Interim Injunction is issued saying that he and the ministers cannot function and the government is not legitimate. Even after all this, he still wants to come to power in a greedy manner.
People are watchful of what is going on in the country. People can see that these two bigwigs do not respect democracy. They are driven by the selfish motives and the public interest or the notion of the majority do not matter to them.
This entropy was created by these two political nabobs.
People have lost their faith in both Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisena. This will be clearly reflected in elections.
I challenge the President to hold a Presidential Election. I am highly confident that he would hardly score 1 million votes.
Why does UNP show reluctance to go for a General Election?
We are not reluctant. What we stress is to hold a General Election at the right time. We do not agree with any one individual’s whims, that he wants to hold elections at his own discretion. In terms of the Constitution of the country, people have elected representatives for 5 years. Only three years have been passed since the last election.
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s coterie plundered our government like robbers and terrorists. They formed an illegitimate government.
They artificially created this situation where they cannot find a way out of the deadlock, other than by a General Election. Why should we and the public comply with their whims and fancies? We are of the view that we should hold elections when they are lawfully due.
If President is in a hurry to go for an election, let him go for a Presidential Election once he completes 4 years in office.
What actions did you take during your tenure as the Minister of Law and Order to probe into the alleged assassination attempt of President Maithripla Sirisena?
As the Minister of Law and Order, I ordered the Criminal Investigations Department to probe into the case. The CID was allowed to function in a more independent and impartial manner without any intrusions of the politicians.
The Government Analyst’s Department analyzed the audio clips of the conversations between DIG Nalaka Silva and Namal Kumara. There is no mention of an assassinate plot of President or former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
I claim with full responsibility that the assassination plot is a hollow hoax. It is a drama scripted by the President to serve his ulterior motives.
Over a month has been lapsed after President Maithripala Sirisena has taken the Ministry of Law and Order under him. Yet, no single action has been taken to carry out the investigations into his assassination.
We accuse him that he created a drama and that is why he is evading the conducting of investigations.
President is ready to reveal those MPs in the UNP government who are alleged to have linked to the Treasury Bonds Scam. If their names are brought to light, that will be a great blow to the reputation of UNP, won’t it?
Perpetrators should be punished duly.
If he alleges that UNP MPs are the corrupt, then we will also break our silence and come out with the financial crimes perpetrated by the MPs of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
The institutions which are allocated with large funds and are more prone corruption were under the purview of the ministers of SLFP during our regime.
If the President is ready to reveal the MPs connected to Treasury Bond Scam, we would also come out with the corruptions committed by the SLPF ministers in their ministries. So, President will have to appoint Presidential Commission of Investigation (PCoI) to investigate the financial crimes of his ministers in future.
The former government ministers were highly corrupt and committed large financial crimes than the Treasury Bonds Scam.
President Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa plotted the coup to evade the punishments of corruption committed by them.