Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had turned down an offer from a “powerful country” to evacuate Tamil civilians by ship during the final stages of the war fearing LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran will also attempt to escape, Parliament was told today.
Then Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe told Parliament today that a delegation led by a foreign Ambassador of a “powerful country” had met Rajapaksa and offered a ship to evacuate the thousands of civilians trapped in the North when the war was at its final stage.
However, according to Samarasinghe, the then President had informed the diplomat that another country has also offered a ship so he will consider the matter and revert.
Samarasinghe said that he had later asked the then President if another country had actually offered a ship.
Rajapaksa had then informed Samarasinghe that he had made such a claim as he feared LTTE leaders trapped in the North will attempt to board the ship and escape.
The former President had reportedly said that he was not prepared to agree to the offer so disregarded it.
Samarasinghe told Parliament this showed what a strong leader Rajapaksa was and that he was not ready to agree to just anything.