Former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he would run for president in elections this year and would stop the extent of Islamist extremism by rejuvenating the intelligence service and surveilling the public, Reuters said yesterday.
Gotabaya said the attacks could have been stopped if the current government had not undone the intelligence network and wide surveillance abilities that he built up during the war and later on.
“Because the government was not ready, that’s why you see a panic situation,” he said in an interview with Reuters.
Gotabaya said he would be a candidate “100 percent”, setting up months of theory that he plans to run in the elections, which are due by December.
Remarking on the two lawsuits filed in US against him, Gotabaya said the cases were groundless and only a “little interference” as he prepared for the election campaign.
Officials said many of these secret intelligence cells were dispersed because they faced claims of abuse, including torture and extra trial killings.