Sri Lanka Freedom Party Mahajana Wing, Secretary Tiran Alles whose house came under grenade attack on Friday morning claimed that he was targeted as he was suspected of having released a photograph of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son, Namal posing with LTTE’s international financial head Emil Kanthan together in London.
Mr. Alles claimed that the President suspected him of having a hand in acquiring the photograph which resulted in the attack on his residence in Nawala. “The President is angry that this photograph was released to the media,” he added.
“If the head of State cannot control these matters he has failed the people and should resign even before the elections,” he added.
Mr. Alles said the President has a personal vendetta against him and has been trying to have him arrested over the past two years but failed.
|Scene of the crime.
“I was dragged to the Terrorist Investigations Department to record statements almost everyday and while I was warded in the Nawaloka hospital I was arrested on the President’s direct order. Thankfully I was able to be cleared of those accusations or else I would still be in custody,” he said.
The grenade attack which occurred at around 4.30 a.m. on Friday damaged most of the front portion of Mr. Alles’ residence while a vehicle was destroyed in the blast. “The previous morning we received some information that there will be a threat to my life before the election. On Thursday evening I even received some foreign calls from unknown sources who warned me of this attack,” he said.
He said that once the explosion took place he was rushed out of the house after which he made an entry at the police station. However, Mr. Alles was convinced that no further action would be taken against the culprits as long as President Rajapaksa was in power.
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga who visited
Mr. Alles at his residence told the media that the government was directly to blame for the attack as it is their duty to prevent such incidents.
“When I was President if any such incident took place it would be resolved in two or three months but now years go by without any action. If the government cannot prevent and resolve these cases they should step down from their posts,” she said.
Government Analysts who inspected the site after the attack reported that the damage was caused by a grenade which had rolled underneath Mr. Alles’ vehicle which was parked in the garage. The explosion had occurred directly under the vehicle’s fuel tank and had in turn caused the fire which was the reason for the excessive damage to the front portion of the property.
Meanwhile, the security guard who was at the front of the house during the attack recollected the incident for the Sunday Times. “At around 4.30 a.m. I heard a vehicle slowing down near the house and I saw something being lobbed over the wall. Moments later there was an explosion in the garage and the vehicle was in flames,” he said.
He said that despite his best efforts to douse the flames caused by the vehicle’s fuel tank the fire soon spread to the front of the house. He said that the fire department arrived within the next half an hour to extinguish the fire.
The guard despite having been a few feet away from the blast had escaped without any injuries.
Meanwhile on Friday a statement from the Presidential Secretariat said, “The Government of Sri Lanka is gravely concerned at this wanton act of violence, which appears to have been carried out to disrupt and discredit the upcoming Presidential Election. It is relieved that no one has been hurt in this incident.
The statement said:
“Perpetrators of previous incidents are being brought to justice and those involved in this latest cowardly act will face the full force of the law.
“We are wholly committed to ensuring a free, peaceful and democratic election in every part of our country. These isolated incidents will not be allowed to affect this goal. “Instructions have been given to the authorities to bolster security at sensitive locations and all political events up to and on polling day to ensure that all Sri Lankans can participate safely in the electoral process.”