Former Sri Lanka leader protests security

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene (L) takes part in a press conference in Colombo on April 24, 2019. - A Sri Lankan security dragnet hunting those responsible for horrifying bombings that claimed more than 350 lives has scooped up a further 18 suspects, police said April 24, as pressure mounted on politicians to explain why no one acted on intelligence warnings. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

May 10, 2007 (AFP) – Former Sri Lanka president Chandrika Kumaratunga has protested the withdrawal of commandos assigned to protect her, saying she was still a target for assassination. She retained a staff of 198 and used 36 vehicles after stepping down. The constitution allows a former president to use two cars and a staff of about 25. Some 28 army commandos from her security unit moved out Wednesday following a Supreme Court ruling last week that she was not entitled to extravagant privileges, including a large band of bodyguards and state vehicles.

“A threat assessment in June showed that she is still among the first three people in a hit list of the (rebel Tamil) Tigers,” a spokesman for Kumaratunga said.

Police say she can have six constables to guard her.

Kumaratunga completed two terms as the all-powerful executive president in November 2005 and was succeeded by her prime minister Mahinda Rajapakse. The two are from the same party but have a serious personality clash.

The former president, who is currently abroad, said in a letter to Rajapakse that a quick decision must be taken to restore her security as she planned to return home shortly.

She narrowly e