Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was an ambassador of peace. Though he was not born a Buddhist he won the hearts of the majority Sinhalese and was working towards peace with people of all religions and ethnic groups. His death could have been prevented if security personnel were more vigilant. The LTTE will continue to target the political leaders and it was necessary that all leaders whether they were in the government or in the opposition should be more careful about the danger to them, JVP rebel Nandana Gunatilaka said at the Parliamentary Complex yesterday.
`His death shows us that we all carry a death certificate without a date on it due to the threat from the terrorists. We should love the country shedding petty party politics and work towards maintaining the stability of the government,` Minister of Transport and Railways Dallas Allahappperuma told The Island yesterday.
There was no replacement for Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. It was like the same shock we had when Minister Lakshman Kadiragamar was assassinated. The LTTE had gradually eliminated the Tamil leadership that opposed them. They had killed TELO, PLOTE, EROS and TULF leaders. They also killed the UNP leaders like Ranjan Wijeratna, Lalith Athulathmaudali, Gamini Dissanayake and Ranasinghe Premadasa. They knew who was a threat to them and who were prepared to go along with them, he said.
This was a conspiracy to bring into power those elements that would be favourable to certain western powers he saidd.
Acting Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Kitulgoda said Fernandopulle had been a personal friend from his Law College Days and it was very unfortunate that such a fate befell him.
Former Secretary General of Parliament Priyani Wijesekara said the death of Jeyaraj Fernadopulle was a great loss to the Parliament and the country. I have no words to express the sadness at losing him. The LTTE knows how to strike with precision and they know the weaknesses in security.
JVP parliamentarian and trade unionist K. D. Lalkantha said whenever anyone in parliament made charges against the government it was Jeyaraj Fernandopulle who skilfully defended the government. He had the good faith to believe that parliamentarians had the right to raise questions and he always had replies to questions. However much we argued or blamed one another in Parliament he always was a good humoured person who had cordial relations with all members of the House.