Former President’s safety will be ensured- PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says a total of 154 security personnel have been assigned to the security detail of former President Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Speaking in Parliament today in response to a statement under Standing Orders by United People’s Freedom Alliance Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena, the Premier said only 61 officers have been assigned to the security detail of former President Chandrika Bandaranaiyake Kumaratunga.

MP Dinesh Gunawardene questioned as to whether the government has taken steps to assure the safety of former President Rajapaksa, highlighting the assassination of the late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

In response the Premier noted the security detail of a former President is determined on assessments of the individuals prevailing security status and information provided by intelligence units.

The Prime Minister said MP Rajapaksa’s security detail contains an Assistant Superintendent of Police, a Chief Police Inspector, nine Police Inspectors, 14 Sub Police Inspectors, a female Police Inspector, 31 Police Sergeants, 2 female Sergeants, 4 Police Sergeant Drivers, 73 Police Constables, 14 Police Constable Drivers, 4 Female Police Constables including necessary vehicles have also been provided.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe noted the Ministry of Law and Order and Southern Development has not made a request to increase the security detail of the former President. However the Premier noted if such a request is tabled it would be considered.

The Prime Minister said he does not believe that a similar incident to that of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in Sri Lanka will take place.

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