Were attempts to prevent 21/04 attacks thwarted??

Were attempts to prevent 21/04 attacks thwarted??

Written by Staff Writer

10 May, 2019 | 9:55 pm

Colombo (News 1st): Following the April 21st attacks security forces have been on high alert day and night to ensure that every Sri Lankan could go about their lives without any fear.

However, there is a broad debate among the general public on the hard work of our dedicated security forces going to waste as political influence is facilitating the release of certain suspects arrested by the forces.

During a discussion in parliament, today Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa requested that they should not leave room for suspicion among the general public on the operations conducted by the police and the tri-forces.

He noted that there are various stories circulating, that politicians are securing the release of the suspects arrested by the forces and politicians are speaking on behalf of these suspects. He requested the government to be sensitive about these incidents and not to allow the investigations to be affected by anyone’s influence.

The opposition leader pointed out that it was mentioned in a newspaper that one politician had influenced the commander of the army to release arrested suspects. He noted that this is a serious situation.

UPFA MP Attorney-at-Law Susil Premajayantha adding to this said the owners of the copper factory in Wellampitiya were among the suicide bombers and 9 employees at the factory were arrested.

He questioned; “Under which act were they arrested? Was it under the prevention of terrorism act?” The parliamentarian stated that if they were arrested under the prevention of terrorism act the magistrate cannot grant them bail and the police media spokesperson says that an investigation is underway into this matter as well.

MP Premajayantha went onto the question if the police officers and the superintendents of police were not aware of the prevention of terrorism act? He said the TID knows exactly how to file a charge.

He pointed out that the Sinhala youth who were arrested in connection to the incidents in Digana was detained for 3 months under the prevention of terrorism act. He questioned the government if they really want to prevent terrorism, who is influencing them to repeal this act?

Why wasn’t action taken under the Prevention of Terrorism Act when it was possible to do so?

The situation gives rise to a justifiable suspicion as to if political leaders had instructed officials not to do so because the Prime Minister is attempting to pass the Counter-Terrorism Act on the heels of the attack.

Are the laws actually inadequate to take action against terrorists?

The matter was also discussed in parliament today. The opposition leader noted that they are suspicious if this government is trying to pass the counter-terrorism act, over the bodies of the victims of the April 21st attacks, as promised to their international paymasters.

MP Premajayantha speaking to the Prime Minister stressed that if they are to deal with global terrorism they need new laws, therefore they need to approve this draft, but then the Prevention of terrorism act No. 49 of 1978 is still in effect with only two amendments made to it.

He went onto note that this act has the relevant provision to arrest these terrorists who are said to have been trained overseas and are engaging in acts of terrorism in the country. He said according to what he sees this Counter-Terrorism bill was brought by the foreign minister in 2015, to fulfil the undertakings of the government to the UNHRC as per resolution 30/1.

Therefore, he said this bill was brought in as per the directions of the foreign minister and non-government organizations are behind these bills.

For the past four years, there is enough reason to raise people’s suspicions about the drafting of bills by the government. The first such incident is the bond scam.

As the government came into power, the Prime Minister took over the Central Bank and changed the method of issuing bonds. The ultimate result of that was the Central Bank robbery. No proper action has been taken on that, yet.

Speaking at a media briefing today UPFA MP S. M. Chandrasena noted that the Prime Minister is clearly trying to bend the law. He noted that they saw how he bent the law to his advantage during the Central Bank Robbery as he amended the laws and deported Arjuna Mahendran from the island.

Chandrasena added that nothing needs to be said, the Central Bank robbery is swept under the carpet and all of this is done for the protection of the Prime Minister and his Government, not for the people or the nation.

After the Central Bank Bond Scam, the next move to deceive the general public was the 19th amendment to the constitution.

Attempts to legalize suppression of media in the guise of democracy shrouded by the 19th amendment were rendered futile by a verdict from the Supreme Court.

When the matter came up in the parliament today MP Dinesh Gunawardena noted that the Minister of Defence is the President, but the Defence Minister cannot remove the IGP.

He pointed out that there is an issue where the 19th amendment says that the IGP cannot be removed and currently there is an acting IGP at the police department.

The parliamentarian said before they discuss anything else they must put forward a proposal in parliament to send these officials home because they were appointed by parliament.

Responding to this MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena questioned; “Was this why the 19th amendment was passed? Can’t he be removed?” He said the IGP is appointed by the constitutional council through the 19th amendment, but he cannot be removed.

He noted that Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to stay in power no matter what happens and just like he stayed back at Temple Trees and got back his premiership. Abeygunawadena added that now he is asking Pujitha to hold on to his post just like he did, even if the country is destroyed.

This is not the first instance where issues pertaining to the 19th Amendment have been discussed and highlighted. The 19th Amendment is being debated and criticized once again at present.

Where are those who were instrumental in making the 19th Amendment, where is Dr Jayampathi Wickramaratne? Where is Mr Sumanthiran and those who made this?

The people are looking for these people. They who created chaos in the country are now silent. At the same time, the government took power, abrogated foreign exchange laws and passed a new foreign exchange bill.

Experts say that even these things are detrimental to the proper functioning of the country.

UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena noted that he asked the Prime Minister not to speak of this Counter-Terrorism Act and get the entire country out on the street.

He said the Cardinal, as well as the Mahanayake Theros, have said that the necessary provision can be added to the Prevention of Terrorism Act. He requested the government not to respond rigidly against these requests made by political parties and all other sectors.

MP Chandima Weerakkody adding to this noted that when certain UNP MPs who were elected to parliament by the general public, speak with them they say that they are against this the Prevention of Terrorism act. He said there is a group that loves the country in that camp as well and that group does not approve of this.

He added that the 3rd clause in the bill is drafted in a way that even political activities can be interpreted as terrorist activities, therefore, everyone who loves the country no matter which party they represent is against this bill.

But he went onto note that they can see that a few people including Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mangala Samaraweera using this moment as an opportunity to fulfil the promises that they had made to certain parties.

These controversial laws in Sri Lanka are created by so-called legal pundits in government and passed by people that we elect to represent our interests in the legislature of the country, namely the 225 members of parliament.

Some of these MPs come into the office because of their wealth while others make their way in through the national list thanks to their close connections to the political powers that be.

The current Sri Lankan parliament consists of former presidents like Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sajith Premadasa, future presidents of the country, members with many years of experience in public office like Dinesh Gunawardena and Vasudeva Nanayakkara.

The current situation of the country, however, is such, laws are so ambiguous that the IGP of the country cannot be removed from office.

While politicians are working towards achieving their personal goals, the security forces in the country are striving to ensure the security of the country.

The security forces carried out raids in several parts of the island today as well. During a search operation in Tangalle, Police arrested 2 suspects with sharp weapons.

The search operation was carried out by the Sri Lanka Navy, Army and the Police at two stores believed to be owned by a suspicious businessman.

09 swords, 32 sharp knives, 02 hatchets and other equipment were seized by the Sri Lanka Navy in a shop in Tangalle.

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