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'Ultra nationalist' Sarath Weerasekara appointed as new Minister of Public Security

Retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara and long time supporter of the Rajapaksas, was recently sworn in as the new Minister of Public Security, according to President’s Media Division. 

Earlier this year, Weerasekara pledged to strip the 13th Amendement of clauses that would be crucial to establishing local control and provincial councils. 

Previously, Weerasekara has said NGOs and civil society activists should be charged with treason and sentenced to death, called for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to be banned and rallied against the Sri Lankan national anthem being sung in Tamil. 

Following his appointment, the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) released a dossier on Weerasekara, highlighting his alarming comments on devolution, his anti-TNA stance and how he has advocated violence to those he opposes. 

Anti TNA 

In 2013, Weerasekara called on the Sri Lankan government to ban the TNA, the dossier noted. 

"We have done a foolish thing by not banning the TNA, which we should have done soon after defeating the LTTE. In the second world war, after Hitler was defeated, his Nazi party was banned...But we, after defeating the LTTE, foolishly failed to ban the TNA. What we should have done is bring formal charges against them for aiding and abetting terrorism and put them in prison," Weersekara said addressing parliament. 

Anti-NGO and human rights activists 

"If someone is trying to divide the country and take the war heroes who defended the country to a war crimes tribunal on false charges, they should be treated as traitors...If we come to power again and form a government, we will take them to courts on charges of treason and hang them like any other ocuntry would do."

Weerasekara has also attended the United Nations Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva where he has "openly condemned and issued thinly veiled threats" against activists for "committing treason". 

Threats against journalists 

In 2010, Wasantha Chandrapala, a correspondent for mainstream media institutions was threatened by Weerasekara over the phone.

"You better know that I am good for good people and worst for worst people, I do whatever I say. You journalists better remember that...I tell you one thing Chandrapala, I am not like other buggers. Keep that in your mind...Don't come to play your games with me. Be careful."

According to the dossier, that same evening, Chandrapala's house came under attack. 

Read the full dossier here

 

 

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