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Friday, 23 January 2015 15:44

Election-night coup attempt was a fact - Champika

Published in Provincial News

Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said the attempt by the Rajapaksas to stage an 'election night coup', that sought to tamper with the election results and seize power using the military, failed due to the vehement objections of lower rank officers.


In an interview with Daily Mirror, the JHU General Secretary alleged that the coup, that was hatched at Temple Trees on election night was 'very real' despite the allegations being denied by certain figures linked to the controversy.


"In fact, I can say with assurance that armed rings of military personnel were stationed at various strategic points in Colombo. One ring encircled an area extending from the Wellawatte Bridge to the Kelaniya Bridge. The second ring encircled us, the Opposition politicians, from Sirikotha to the Elections Commissioner’s office and the Royal College and DS Senanayake College counting centres," he said.


He went on to state that this plan was to be implemented by amalgamating ex-military personnel, the armed forces and a political mechanism.


"The Colombo District was divided into 17 sectors and high-level military personnel were appointed to coordinate with the political representatives," the minister said.


He said it was the severe protests of the lower rank officers and the people's movement against the Rajapaksas that was gaining ground, which resulted in the plan falling through.


"They tried to get the Police to call for military intervention but our IGP refused to do that. Jagath Jayasooriya asked the Elections Commissioner to deploy the Army in the so-called 'vulnerable' areas but he refused. That’s how this carnage that was waiting to happen, was avoided. It was definitely not Mahinda Rajapaksa's humble, humane approach," he said.