Army Commander speaks on controversial social media footage

Army Commander speaks on controversial social media footage

Army Commander speaks on controversial social media footage

Written by Staff Writer

16 May, 2019 | 9:40 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): Convening a media briefing Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake urged the general public to have faith in the armed forces.

Responding to a question posed by a journalist on a few video clips that purportedly show the military assisting the attacks, the army commander replied that he arrived late at the press briefing since he had visited the security council regarding the matter. He continued to say that 95% of the investigations conducted into the video footage is complete and claimed that the said soldier who appears in the footage is innocent and assured that he will prove that this soldier was doing nothing more than trying to put the strap of the weapon around his arm which was misinterpreted as inviting the groups in.

A journalist also questioned the army commander on the comment he had made to a print media on April 5th that he was influenced to release the suspects who were arrested. Lieutenant General Senanayake responded that it was more of a request than an influence. He said that when a certain person was arrested that the said minister had called him and requested repeatedly on three occasions and that the army commander had continued to stall the process reasoning that he has the ability to legally detain him for one and a half years.

The army commander specified that the name of the suspect who he was influenced to release was the person arrested from Dehiwela. He also claimed that there has been a fallback in intelligence services. Lastly, the journalists also questioned the army commander on Major Prabhath Bulathwatta who was named as the main defendant in the case regarding the abduction of Keith Noyhar, who is currently serving in the intelligence unit. He replied with full responsibility that he is not serving in the intelligence unit and that he is serving directly under the army commander. He continued to say that everyone knows the services rendered by him in the Eastern province and that the country needs it right now. The army commander continued to say that he has not been barred from using his services by law and that he is using it at the moment on behalf of the country.

He added that nobody in the military involved with previous incidents could escape neither him nor the country when they are under investigation and nor can Major Bulathwatte.

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