She is issuing a statement in response to joint opposition’s concerns over the reduction of the ex-president’s security.
When she retired in November 2005, the Security Council recommended a contingent of 300-personnel, weapons and vehicles, Kumaratunga said, noting however that she got the number reduced to 150 personnel.
After the Rajapaksa rule completely withdrew security in September 2007, she said, she had to do without any security for two months.
Thereafter, several UNP MPs protested and due to international pressure, Kumaratunga said, she was given 40 personnel and five vehicles in a dilapidated condition.
She said she has that same level of security.
The country does not have a war now, and she cannot understand as to why Rajapaksa needs a higher level of security than her, Kumaratunga said.
Rajapaksa’s media unit has alleged his security had been reduced as an act of political revenge after holding a successful May Day rally.
JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake has told parliament that if that actually was the basis for the reduction of the security that could not be accepted.
However, law and order minister Sagala Ratnayake said Rajapaksa still had 187 policemen as his bodyguards.
Security for other retired presidents
Ratnayake noted that when J.R. Jayewardene retired in 1988, he was given 65 bodyguards and when he passed away in 1996, he had only 18 of them remaining.
Similarly, D.B. Wijetunga was given 78 bodyguards, but at the time his death, he was having only 12 bodyguards, the minister added.
When Kumaratunga retired in 2005, she had 198 bodyguards, and now she has 59 policemen only.