Three retired security officials blacklisted for working with NPP

00:00 Mar 10 2023 The Parliament of Sri Lanka

National People’s Power leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake informed the parliament that
three retired military officers including retired Air Vice-Marshal Sampath Thuyacontha had
been blacklisted by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) with immediate effect, allegedly for
engaging in politics with the National People's Power (NPP). In a private internal
communique issued on 10 March 2023, SSO Provost of the SLAF Group Captain C.M.D
Chandrasekara has issued a letter addressing to commanding officers and officers-in-charge
of SLAF camps and facilities asking not to allow these retired officers to enter into any of the
SLAF camps and use any other facility available for retired personnel. Dissanayake also said
another officer named Major General Aruna Jayasekara who supports NPP has also been
verbally advised not to attend get together events, parties, meetings, and conferences. Dissanayake pointed out that blacklisting or restricting them of facilities available to other
former military officers based on their political opinion is discriminatory, as there are many
other former military officers who have been active in politics and still enjoy the facilities
available to retired military personnel, including those who are parliamentary representatives,
and political appointees.
Responding to the question, State Minister of Defence Pramitha Bandara Thennakoon said
no restriction had been imposed on the retired military officer to engage in active politics and
added that retired Air Vice-Marshal Sampath Thuyacontha was blacklisted for making a
problematic speech during a political rally in Gampaha posing a threat to national security and
tarnishing the image and discipline of the Air Force. Minister Tennakoon further added that
Thuyacontha as a person who can make a considerable influence on the staff currently serving
in the military previously made a problematic statement saying that the military soldiers
currently in service are supporting his political ideology. Therefore, he said that it was
considered that he may pose a threat to national security, by instigating antagonism/ hostility
and disapproval towards the state among those who are currently serving in the military, and
thereby contributing to a conspiracy against the state.
However, according to Dissanayake, Thuyacontha had not been summoned to any inquiry
and neither given any opportunity to clarify his point of view before SLAF decided to blacklist
him. Dissanayake questioned the basis of picking them to be blacklisted from many other
retired military officers who are active in politics, and who may have political conversations
with their peers. Responding to this, Minister Tennakoon justified the decision to restrict the
said ex-military officers on the basis of national security, saying that Sri Lanka is going through
a much complex period, as the country recently went through a wave of anti-government
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