The main opposition UNP yesterday asked Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse to apologise to the armed forces and the police for the manner in which they were humiliated and undermined during a speech by the JVP leader at last Tuesday`s Town Hall rally.
Addressing a news conference at the Opposition Leader`s office UNP assistant general secretary Tissa Attanayake said JVP leader Somawansa had claimed that when Mr. Rajapakse became the President the armed forces would be disbanded. Mr. Amarasinghe also said the armed forces had killed both Sinhalese and the Tamils in the country.
?By his statement Mr. Amarasinghe deliberately humiliated and undermined the service rendered by the armed forces, who have sacrificed their lives to safeguard the country?, Mr. Attanayake said.
He asked whether the JVP was trying to drive the country back to the 1988-89 period, where police and military personnel who enforced law and order were killed by the JVP.
?Is Mr Amarasinghe trying to dismiss the military and the police in the country, and drive the country towards the law of the jungle?? Mr Attanayake asked.
UNP Parliamentarian Prof. G.L. Peiris said Prime Minister Rajapakse is blaming himself to gain popularity. He is criticizing the country`s security situation and the enforcement of law and order, when his government has ruled the country for the past 11 years, he said.
Prof. Peiris also asked whether Mr. Rajapakse is blaming his own leader Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga for failing to enforce law and order in the country.
President Kumaratunga governed the country for the past 11 years and Mr. Rajapakse was also a responsible Cabinet minister for the same period.
The JVP was also in the government from time to time. Are not all of them responsible for all this situation, he asked.
Prof. Peiris also said that if Mr. Rajapakse is elected President the country will face a much worse situation than today. People experienced the policies of the UPFA for the past 18 months and everybody knows what happened to the economy, security and to democracy, he said.
UNP Parliamentarian Vajira Abeywardene said the Premier is misguiding the public and the public servants by saying he will restore the pension scheme to public servants, when there is nothing to restore as nobody suspended it.
Mr. Rajapakse himself can`t remember past records. He should recall it was the 1970-77 SLFP government which did away with the pension scheme and not the UNP. He must be confused before his defeat to Mr. Wickremesinghe, he said.