SL presidential hopeful claims threat to his life
Colombo: Sri Lanka's presidential hopeful Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who played a key role defeating the LTTE to end the country's brutal civil war, has claimed that a terrorist group in the North is planning to harm him during the election campaign, according to a media report.
Gotabhaya, 70, the brother of former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa, complained to President Maithripala Sirisena that his intelligence officers have informed him that there is an attempt to use a sniper rifle and a special type of gun imported from Malaysia for this attack.
He asked the president to investigate the matter and take appropriate action, Sri Lanka Mirror reported.
The former defence secretary told the media that according to information he has received, not only him but Douglas Devananda, a Sri Lankan Tamil politician, and Karuna Amman, a politician and a former rebel, are also at risk.
The report said that the president has ordered the Director of Police Terrorism Investigation to investigate into the matter.
Presidential elections in Sri Lanka are due before the end of the year.
Gotabhaya's volunteer security unit has stayed on guard when he visited the Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy recently.
The unit has provided heavy protection allowing no civilian to come near him.
Gotabhaya was a powerful bureaucrat under his brother's government, which defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels' 26-year revolt in 2009.
As secretary of defence, Gotabhaya played a key role in ending the Tamil Tigers' campaign for an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils. But he was accused of using extra-legal methods and cracking down on those who criticised his style.
According to a United Nations report, some 45,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the last months of the war alone.