May 17, Colombo: State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene said some through media and social media are attempting to slander him by giving a twisted interpretation on the presence of a heavy security arrangement during his recent visit to conflict-hit Minuwangoda area to examine the security situation.
The Minister said that as the acting Minister of defense he undertook an inspection tour of the Minuwangoda area on the 15th of May in view to assess the security situation on ground and also the damages caused by the previous two days of incidents of arson and damages by unruly mobs.
Video clips posted on certain media and social media sites showed a large entourage of security personnel accompanying the Minister in a massive motorcade during his tour.
Issuing a statement to set the record straight, the Minister said as the state Minister of defense he is provided with 10 (6 per shift) security personnel and two back up vehicles. "I have always used my personal vehicle to travel and have not taken up any official residence," he said.
During the visit to Minuwangoda, Minister Wijewardene said at the venue, he was joined by a host of security personal, religious leaders, and politicians of all levels.
The security officials included the Overall Operations Commander (OOC) Major General S Liyanage, Rear Admiral Sujeewa Perera, Air Vice Marshal Leonard Rodrigo, Air Vice Marshal Payo, 141 brigade Commander Brigadier Jayawardne, Senior DIG police Roshan Wijeysinghe, and OIC Minuwangoda Police.
He said these security personnel were those entrusted with security of the area, and adjacent areas as well. Also present at the location was the Army motorcycle team, and a troop of Army Armored vehicles, which were providing security to the area.
"All of the above were part and parcel of the security environment of the Minuwangoda town, and its surrounding areas, and the security personnel of the senior military personnel who were present and mentioned above, and were in no way part of my security contingent," the Minister emphasized.
"Yet I am aware that certain media institutions, and sections of the social media are attempting to sling mud at me, sighting the above security build up as that of my personal security contingent. I categorically reject this malicious reporting, and wish to state that as the state Minister of Defense |I am provided with 10 security personnel, and two back up vehicles, of which all are not used at any given time. I wish to further state that I do not use any state vehicle for my travel but use my own Jeep for same."
"The heavy military presence in the area, and as depicted in the video visuals were all of the security provided to the troubled areas, and were in no way part of my security," the Minister stressed.
"Hence I would appreciate if the media units and social media act more responsibly in such matters and take action to correct the very wrong impression created by very subjective media reporting," Minister Ruwan Wijewardene requested.