Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the proposed Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) would provide security to terrorists than enabling action against them.
He expressed these views in response to a statement made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that the Easter Sunday terror attacks could have been averted if the CTA was in place.
“The Prime Minister's new law will not only suppress the entire country including the trade unions and student unions it will also provide security to terrorists instead of apprehending them,” he told journalists at his residence in Colombo.
A delegation of the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) met Mr. Rajapaksa at his residence to discuss about the prevailing situation in the country.
The ACJU reiterated that the Muslim community had no connection with the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks.
When asked whether the country should obtain foreign assistance to contain the situation and eradicate terrorism, Mr. Rajapaksa said foreign assistance should be sought only when necessary.
“We should accept foreign assistance when there is a necessity. I accept that. However, local authorities and our officials have the ability to solve our issues. We could obtain information from foreign countries but still our officials are better at getting information. There is no issue in getting foreign assistance but our officials are capable of handling domestic affairs,” he said.
He said only a handful of Muslims were terrorists and therefore, no one should point fingers at the entire Muslim community.
“They pledge their fullest support to these investigations. They have been given the details of the extremists to the government. The issue is that the government had not taken action based on the information provided. I can't do what the government should do though these Muslim leaders requested me to do so. Muslims have been living with us for over 1,000 of years. This culture was destroyed in one bomb and we should put it back together,” he said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)