7:20 AM

No plane, Janaka’s body taken by road,Govt. provides motorcade

The remains of Major General Janaka Perera and his wife were taken to Anuradhapura by road yesterday, as an aircraft was not made available for the remains to be flown to Anuradhapura for the public there to pay their last respects.

The remains were taken to the Ratmalana Airport at 7.45 a.m. yesterday but was kept there for about four hours for want of an aircraft.

Relations had obtained permission from Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and Air Force Commander to fly the remains to Anuradhapura. However, no aircraft was made available. The motorcade left Colombo around 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, UNP General Secretary and parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake said that he sought permission thrice from the Prime Minister to fly the remains to Anuradhapura but he failed to get it.

Attanayake lamented at the government’s attitude towards a soldier who rendered yeoman service to the country at the risk of his own life. The remains were kept at the Ratmalana airport for nearly four hours but no aircraft was provided and this was an embarrassment to the UNP and to the kith and kin of the dead couple, Attanayake said.

The remains were originally scheduled to be taken to

Major Genral Janaka Perera’s residence at Freeman Mawatha in Anuradhapura around 10.30 a.m. and large crowds had gathered there awaiting the arrival.

He said large crowds also gathered on the road side when the remains were taken to Anuradhapura but Police prevented the motorcade taking the usual route and directed the motorcade through various side roads preventing the people from paying their last respects.