Oct 24, Colombo: A parliamentarian of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) in parliament today claimed that there is a plot to assassinate him.
UNP Matara District parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera raising a privilege issue in parliament today said he has reliable information about a plot to assassinate him in the run-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting ( CHOGM) to be held in Colombo from the 15th - 18th November.
He said according to intelligence reports prepared by the State Intelligence Service a well-known contract killer called 'Chaku' and another underworld criminal called ' Kota Gamini' have been assigned the task of carrying out his murder.
Samaraweera was recently arrested by the police for instigating an attack on a peaceful protest walk staged by a rival faction of the same party in Matara to call for the resignation of party leader Ranil Wickremasinghe following the humiliating defeat the party suffered at recent provincial elections.
Samaraweera said the assassination is timed 'to kill two birds with one stone' to silence the "vociferous critic of the regime" both inside and outside Parliament and to put the blame on the rival UNP faction for the murder nd further divide the opposition party.
The MP in an apparent reference to the Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the "master mind behind this conspiracy is a senior Defence Official who has been behind many of the political killings, white van abductions and assault on journalists during the last several years."
The MP also complained that the Secretary General (SG) of parliament has deleted a section of a statement the MP made in the chambers.
According to Samaraweera the censored paragraph speaks of a VIP who recently talked of the need ' to shut me (the MP) up' in front of several senior cabinet Ministers.
"The standing orders of this house prevent me from naming those concerned but I will be lodging a formal complaint tomorrow with the Police with all the details of this conspiracy," the purportedly censored paragraph has said.
"Why has this been censored? Under what standing order? Who is the SG trying to protect? The SG must be looking after the interests of Parliamentarians and not senior officials in the defence sector," he questioned.
This high handed act by the SG is a direct violation of the Commonwealth Charter and the Lattimer House principles, the MP stressed.
Citing the Lattimer House principles, the opposition lawmaker threatened to make a formal complaint to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Union if the said paragraph is omitted from parliamentary records.
"The Parliament must protect the integrity of the legislature without pandering to the interest of the executive," he said.
He urged the Speaker to urgently intervene in the matter with those concerned.
Samaraweera also requested the Speaker to provide him with adequate security including the allocation of local police guard provided to the residences of MPs which he says he had been deprived of since the inception of the present Parliament.