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Amidst accusations and counter accusations over the alleged failure on the part of the armed forces to suppress violent protest campaign that forced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down last July, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Shavendra Silva has sent a letter of demand to National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa in respect of the allegations against him in the recently-published book, Nine: The Hidden Story.

General Silva, contacted for comment, said that his lawyers had recently sent a letter of demand to MP Weerawansa. In his letter of demand, the former Army Commander has said that there is absolutely no basis for accusations directed at him and Army over alleged complicity in the overthrowing of the then government.

NFF leader Weerawansa told The Island that he was ready to face legal action.

The fresh move on the part of General Silva followed 39 politicians including ministers withdrawing a petition filed against General Silva over the failure on the part of the then Army Commander to quell countrywide violence, following the SLPP goon attacks on Galle Face protesters on 09 May, 2022.

The Court of Appeal allowed them to withdraw a petition against then Army Commander and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Shavendra Silva.The bench consisted of President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Justice A. Marikkar. IGP C. D. Wickremaratne was among the other respondents.

Nearly 70 houses belonging to serving members of Parliament were set ablaze meticulously by well organised gangs across the country on the night of May 09 last year.

Faisz Musthapha, PC, who appeared for General Silva, objected to the withdrawal of the case. The Court of Appeal permitted the withdrawal of the high profile case on the basis of an assurance given by Public Security Minister Tiran Alles to the petitioners to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the May 09 and 10 incidents. Sanjeeva Jayawardena, PC, appearing for the petitioners, sought the court’s permission to withdraw the case. (SF)

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