Colombo, May 2: As Sri Lanka on Monday, May 2 withdrew the army from the security detail of Mahinda Rajapaksa, his son accused the government of carrying out a political witch-hunt against the former president and his family.
Sri Lankan government had announced in April to withdraw the army from the security detail of Rajapaksa.
The decision came into force today. "We have been facing this kind of harassment for a long time now. This is nothing surprising," Namal Rajapaksa, an MP, and the elder son of the former strongman told reporters.
"The government fears us more so after yesterday's big crowd that was seen at our May Day rally." He said that 50 of the 102 security detail, which included five Army Majors and 45 Commandos, would be replaced with four Sub-Inspectors and 46 Police Constables from the police ministerial security division which provides VIP protection.
Rajapaksa demands the Army Commando security in the light of his actions to end the decades-old separatist campaign led by the LTTE.
The former President and his brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, then head of the defence ministry played key roles in plotting the military defeat of the LTTE.
Since his defeat to President Maithripala Sirisena in January 2015, the Rajapaksa family have faced allegations of corruption and wrongdoings during Mahinda Rajapaksa's decade rule.
The former president's younger brother Basil Rajapaksa, then powerful economic development minister, and his second son Yoshitha Rajapaksa were both jailed for misdemeanors.