South Asia

Mahinda Rajapaksa denies coup bid

Mahinda Rajapaksa  

Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has denied allegations that he attempted to stage a military coup to stay in power.

“I deny in all possible terms reports of attempts to use the military to influence election results,” he said on Tuesday, tweeting from his official account.

He was responding to the newly-formed government’s allegations that Mr. Rajapaksa and his brother, the former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa tried deploying troops to election counting centres last week, seeking to have the elections annulled.

Mangala Samaraweera, who on Monday assumed charge as Foreign Minister, earlier said his new government’s cabinet would, as one of its first tasks, >probe the alleged coup bid ahead of the January 8 elections that saw President Maithripala Sirisena defeat his predecessor Mr. Rajapaksa.

Mr. Rajapaksa said he had accepted the outcome long before the final official results were released and that he congratulated the new President. “During decades in politics, I have always bowed down to the people’s verdict. Wins & losses are a natural part of political life - MR” he tweeted, days after the allegations were made.

According to the new government’s allegations, Mr. Rajapaksa and his brother had asked the country’s army commander to deploy troops, but he declined. The Hindu earlier contacted Army commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake in this regard and quoted him as saying “I can’t comment on that, it is very sensitive. You have to check with the politicians.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 12:07:21 AM |

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