View Full Version : Iam Ready To Take the Blame : Prime Ministe Rantnasiri!

10-09-2008, 12:50 AM
With the Government not issuing clearance to airlift the bodies of late Major General Janaka Perera and his wife, the UNP decided to take them to Anuradhapura by road after waiting for hours at the Ratmalana Airport yesterday, Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera said.

He informed the House of this decision while expressing his party’s disappointment and regret at the turn of events.

Mr. Perera said that his party members were waiting at the airport from 9.30 a.m. till noon with the bodies on the road, but the Government did not issue the clearance to airlift them. He said that some individuals were taking revenge even from the body of the late Janaka Perera in this manner.

Mr. Perera said that his party decided to take the two bodies to Anuradhapura by helicopter at 9.30 a.m., yesterday after initial discussions with Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake.

“Today, there are elements giving orders even going beyond the Prime Minister. Is this the way anyone should treat a military officer who rendered great service to this country?” he asked.

The UNP raised the issue by around 10 a.m., in the House asking the Government to issue the clearance to airlift the body.

At this moment Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva agreed to look into the matter and resolve it.

However, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake took up the issue again at around noon saying the clearance had not been issued even by 11.30 a.m.

“We are waiting with the body at the Ratmalana Airport. Even the helicopter is ready. Only the clearance is to be given,” he said.

UNP MP Renuka Herath also expressed her critical views on the issue. Later, the UNP decided to take the body to Anuradhapura by road.

Later in the day, making a statement on the issue, Prime Minister Wickremanayake said that he had made inquiries and the Air Force Commander had said that the initial agreement was for the Air Force to take charge of the bodies at the funeral parlour and take them to the airport to be airlifted by Air Force craft. “However the UNP supporters themselves had taken the two bodies to the airport creating the problem of security clearance.”

The Prime Minister further said that he got involved in the matter with honest intentions. “I am ready to accept blame for the issue if anyone thinks it fair to apportion blame,” he added.