Select committee will not divulge sensitive information

5 June 2019 12:05 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana   

The select committee appointed to look into the Easter Sunday attacks will work towards avoiding sensitive information with regard to country’s information from leaking to the public, its Acting Chairman Dr. Jayampathi Wickramaratne said yesterday.   

Dr. Wickramaratne said the select committee initially adopted a criteria based on the Right to Information Act where information which affects the country’s security severely will not be divulged to the public. “We decided to follow the same when conducting the select committee procedure but now we have decided not to allow any matter which affects the security to be published.,” Dr. Wickremaratne said. He said media will not be allowed when sensitive information is divulged by those who testify before the committee.   


He also said live telecast of the select committee proceedings will not be done during days of Parliament sittings. He said he cannot give a guarantee on the live telecast on non-sitting days.   


Select Committee Member Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said there are certain information which cannot be published and others which can be published. “Those who oppose allowing the media to cover the proceedings does not know to sort out the information that can be published and what cannot be published,” Field Marshal said.   


“The information that cannot be published comprises details on operations that are to be carried out by the military in the future and questions asked in the select committee on the intelligence officers who have being paid for the services,” Field Marshal said. However, he said asking whether any payment was made to any terror organization is not an act of divulging sensitive information. He also said summoning of those intelligence officers who wear uniforms before the select committee is not an issue while overt officers who work without uniforms should not be summoned as they carry out their services in a confidential manner.   


“There is also a misunderstanding on the words Eyes only, restricted top secret. These are words used in the military and intelligence units in any country,” he said.   


Further the Field Marshal said the notion that the select committee will be a betrayal similar to Millennium city is a hoax. He said those who were in the Millennium City safe house was never engaged in long range infiltration operations as suggested by some. He said such operations were carried out by the special force. He said only a corporal in the army was in charge of this safe house.   

 

Dr. Wickramaratne said the select committee initially adopted a criteria based on the Right to Information Act where information which affects the country’s security severely will not be divulged to the public. “We decided to follow the same when conducting the select committee procedure but now we have decided not to allow any matter which affects the security to be published.,” Dr. Wickremaratne said. He said media will not be allowed when sensitive information is divulged by those who testify before the committee.   


He also said live telecast of the select committee proceedings will not be done during days of Parliament sittings. He said he cannot give a guarantee on the live telecast on non-sitting days.   


Select Committee Member Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said there are certain information which cannot be published and others which can be published. “Those who oppose allowing the media to cover the proceedings do not know to sort out the information that can be published and what cannot be published,” Field Marshal said.   


“The information that cannot be published comprises details on operations that are to be carried out by the military in the future and questions asked in the select committee on the intelligence officers who have being paid for the services,” Field Marshal said. However, he said asking whether any payment was made to any terror organization is not an act of divulging sensitive information. He also said summoning of those intelligence officers who wear uniforms before the select committee is not an issue while overt officers who work without uniforms should not be summoned as they carry out their services in a confidential manner.   


“There is also a misunderstanding on the words Eyes only, restricted top secret. These are words used in the military and intelligence units in any country,” he said.   


Further the Field Marshal said the notion that the select committee will be a betrayal similar to Millennium city is a hoax. 


He said those who were in the Millennium City safe house was never engaged in long range infiltration operations as suggested by some. He said such operations were carried out by the special force. He said only a corporal in the army was in charge of this safe house.   

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