With the army being removed from his family's security detail, former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa's son today accused the government of carrying out a political witch-hunt and said they have been facing such "harassment" from a long time.
"The change comes into force today. We have been facing this kind of harassment for a long time now. This is nothing surprising. The government fears us more so after yesterday's big crowd that was seen at our May Day rally," Namal Rajapaksa, an MP, and the elder son of the former strongman told reporters.
He said that 50 of 102 security detail, which included five Army Majors and 45 Commandos, would be replaced with four Sub Inspectors and 46 Police Constables from the polices ministerial security division which provides VIP protection.
The government in April had announced that the army will be removed from the security detail of Rajapaksa.
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, the then head of the defense ministry played key roles in plotting the LTTEs military defeat.
Since his defeat to President Maithripala Sirisena in January 2015 elections, the Rajapaksa family have faced allegations of wrong doings.
Former President's younger brother, Basil Rajapaksa the then powerful economic development minister, and his second son Yoshitha Rajapaksa were both jailed for misdemeanors.