Eight-member PSC appointed
- The select committee will have a mandate to summon any Minister or MP for questioning
By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday announced the appointment of an eight-member Parliamentary Select Committee headed by Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri, to look into the Easter Sunday bomb attacks.
The other members of the PSC include Ministers Rauff Hakeem, Ravi Karunanayake, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, MPs Kavinda Jayawardene, Ashu Marasinghe, Jayampathi Wickramaratne and M. A. Sumanthiran.
The select committee will look into whether the law enforcement authorities had received intelligence reports relating to the Easter Sunday attacks, whether the relevant authorities took adequate steps to mitigate the attacks, whether there were any irregularities in the state machinery that led to the inability to mitigate or prevent the attacks, whether any other factors contributed to the attacks and what action should be taken to prevent such attacks in the future. It will also have a mandate to summon any Minister or MP for questioning.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe assured that the committee will come up with a report in two weeks’ time.
UPFA not to take part in PSC
- Even the Army Commander has denied that the Minister exerted any pressure on him
By Sandun A. Jayasekera
The UPFA has decided not to take part in the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) proceedings scheduled to be appointed to probe charges levelled against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen in the no faith motion against him, UPFA General Secretary MP Mahinda Amaraweera said.
Mr. Amaraweera said the need of the hour was to strengthen the country’s national security, economy and religious harmony and not the appointing of select committees or the submission of no faith motions.
He further said that the SLFP firmly believes the set of proposals submitted to the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on national security would help the country to come out of this mess.
If these proposals were enacted, the necessity does not arise to amend the PTA or pass the Counter Terrorism Bill proposed by the UNP. “The Intelligence Services, Police and the Armed Forces have been able to prevent any major disaster after the Easter Sunday attack one month ago. They have detected a large haul of explosives, weapons, eight NTJ training camps, cash and houses rented to the mastermind of the April 21st attack and the National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) in various parts of the country. Nearly 100 suspects who have direct involvement with the crime and have assisted the terrorist outfit have also been arrested. I believe that our Tri-forces have broken the backbone of the NTJ,” Mr. Amaraweera said.
“President Sirisena has specifically advised the Police and armed forces to perform their duty independently,” he added.
Responding to a journalist, Mr. Amaraweera said not a single charge on alleged support to terrorism or alleged influence exerted on the Army Commander to release a supporter apprehended on suspicion, has been proved against Minister Bathiudeen.“Even the Army Commander has denied that the Minister exerted any pressure on him, but had only inquired about the suspect,” he said.
Pics by Romesh Dhanushaka Silva