2ND LEAD (Adds Gotabaya BBC interview video)

PTK hospital, legitimate military target - Gotabhaya

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 February 2009, 05:14 GMT]
"No hospital should operate outside the Safety Zone...everything beyond the safety is a legitimate target," Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapakse tells the Skynews, admitting to the culpability of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) shelling Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital. In another interview with the BBC, a clearly irate Rajapakse ridicules Lasantha Wickrematunge as an editor of a "tabloid," and queries reporter Chris Morris as to why the media is interested in "one man" when there are thousands of killings and murders."

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
When asked why the Government has warned journalists not to use videos of the humanitarian situation in Vanni, Gotabaya says: " We have to take certain measures to them [reporters] from the country. That had happened previously; that had happened in other countries. It is not a new thing. If you are a threat to the national security, the Government has to take action."

PDF IconGotabaya interview with Sky TV
"Do you think broadcasting footage from TamilNet is a threat to national security?" the reporter asks.

"Of course. Because that is wrong," Gotabaya replies.

In the interview with BBC's Chris Morris, Gotabaya derides late Lasantha and says that any dissent or criticism [of the Government] during the time of war is treason."

PDF IconGotabaya interview with BBC
Gotabaya Rajapakse is a citizen of United States. He worked as a Computer Systems UNIX Administrator at the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles where he owns property. He returned to Sri Lanka in 2005 to assist in the presidential campaign of his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, and was appointed as the Defense Secretary.


External Links:
BBC: BBC interview of Gotabaya Rajapakse (2nd Feb, 2009)


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