Written by Staff Writer
03 Sep, 2019 | 8:37 pm
Colombo (News1st) – It was revealed at the Supreme Court today (September 3), that intelligence services had issued 97 warnings about possible attacks by the extremists led by Mohamed Zahran targetting key locations in Sri Lanka
President’s Counsel Sanjaya Jayawardena informed Court, the warnings were sent to the Defence Secretary and IGP by the State Intelligence Service. Fundamental rights petitions filed against Ex-Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundara who was sent on compulsory leave were considered today.
The petitions were filed against them for failing to take measures to prevent the 04/21 attacks and request an order be made on the Attorney General to take action against Fernando, Jayasundara and all those responsible.
Presenting facts before a full bench at the Supreme Court, PC Sanjaya Jayawardena said according to affidavits and documents submitted to the court by DIG Nilantha Jayawardena – the Director of the State Intelligence Service,these 97 warnings were sent from 2016 to April 2019.
PC Jayawardena stated that the responsibility on national security is not limited to the Defense Secretary, the IGP or the other security forces, but it also applies to the Cabinet of Ministers as well.
He pointed out according to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution the Cabinet is vested with a collective responsibility on national security.
President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva pointed out the President, Prime Minister or any other party cannot shy away from their responsibility by saying one was not made aware of the attacks or one was not summoned to the Security Council.
He argued that there is no necessity for one to go to the authorities and request for security be provided.
PC De Silva stressed that the people elected individuals into positions and such individuals are maintained with public funds not to follow the agenda of saving themselves by simply saying they were not aware of anything.
Submissions by the counsel appearing for 12 Fundamental Rights Petitions naming Ex-Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, interdicted IGP Pujith Jayasundara, the Cabinet including the Prime Minister as respondents, concluded this evening.
The Attorney General and the respondents will make their submissions tomorrow (September 4).
Executive Director of Centre for Society and Religion, Rev. Fr. Ashok Stephen highlighted that Gotabaya Rajapaksa had promised to His Eminence the Cardinal to have an independent commission to probe the attacks when he comes into power. “That’s something good”, he commented. However, he reasoned that Gotabaya Rajapaksa must be told to make a promise to the Cardinal that he would appoint an independent commission to probe the deaths of Anthony Fernando in Chilaw, Roshen Chanaka in Katunayake, the people of Rathupaswala as well as Lasantha Wickremetunge, whose deaths had taken place during their administration, in order to serve justice their families.
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