Hours after Azath Salley was released by the President, the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, has publicly stated that Salley was arrested for allegedly conspiring with a Tamil Nadu group to launch a joint Sri Lankan Muslim armed struggle. Whilst refusing to disclose the name of the Tamil Nadu group, Gotabhaya accused the UK based group, British Tamils Forum, of also being involved.
Speaking to the sister paper of Ceylon Today, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said:
"Hakeem and other politicians are talking about the... ...detention of Salley without knowing those incriminating details,"
"Many people are talking about the arrest of Azath Salley without knowing those facts. Muslim people thought that he was arrested for espousing Muslim extremism. Azath Salley went to Tamil Nadu and held talks with a Tamil group. A Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian and a Tamil professor attached to the Open University of Sri Lanka have also visited Tamil Nadu to hold discussions with the same Tamil group,"
Asserting that he would also 'protect the people from external threat', he said he would not let 'the discussions held in Tamil Nadu to progress into an armed struggle'.
"British Tamil Forum is an LTTE front. They are also involved with this Tamil group in Tamil Nadu. The British Tamil Forum mobilized expat Muslims in the United Kingdom to hold a protest in front of the Sri Lankan High Commission in London."