The exposure of certain national security and intelligence information during the Parliamentary Select Committee inquiry on Wednesday (29) came under heavy criticism by the UPFA today who termed it as a betrayal of the intelligence services of the country, comparing it to the Millennium City fiasco in January 2002.
The UPFA was of the view that the members of the select committee, which was appointed to probe into the allegations levelled in the no faith motion against controversial Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, should not have asked questions from the defence officials on sensitive intelligence and national security issues.
They suggested that if and when asked, officials should not have answered. Addressing the media at the SLFP head office yesterday, Senior Deputy Vice President of the SLFP and former Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said the exposure of the highly sensitive information before the media during the select committee deliberations was extremely detrimental to the national security and intelligence service of the country.
“These questions should not have been asked by the members of the select committee in the first place. The official should have declined to answer if and when asked those questions as they were directly connected to the national security because they had the right to do so by law,” Mr. De Silva said.
He recalled that the Millennium City disaster (exposure) took place in early 2002 after which the entire intelligence arm of the tri forces collapsed, top intelligence officers left the country and some of them were brutally murdered. “The exposure on Wednesday in parliament before the media is not second to the betrayal in 2002 under the current security situation in the country.
I have never seen or heard inquiries being held and officials are questioned on matters related to national security and intelligence of a country like this anywhere in the world,” Mr. De Silva charged. UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said the select committee enacted a ‘Palu Gei Walan Bindeemak’ (smashing pots in an empty house) as there was no opposition representation in the committee.
“There are sensitive matters related to national security, the media or the lawmakers should not know. As such, an official has all the right to refuse to respond if any crucial question was asked for the sake of the country and in the name of the security establishment he is serving. But here, this did not happen. The officer goes ahead with decoding even the most secretive code names used during the exchange of intelligence information. This is very bad,” he added.
UPFA National Organiser Duminda Dissanayaka said the UPFA would make a request to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to prevent the select committee from behaving like this in future. In reply to a journalist, Mr. Amaraweera said that the statement made that the National Security Council (NSC) did not meet after February, 19 was incorrect and added in many instances all information related to NSC activities were not recorded or minuted as they are extremely sensitive.
“The NSC met regularly in these months but did not keep records, that is the truth", Mr. Amaraweera noted.
Mr. Dissanayaka said the media also has a responsibility and must not disseminate news that would affect the national security and added that the UPFA was opposed to the government’s consent to open select committee deliberations to the media.
“There are matters the media should not be aware of or given publicity,” he emphasised.
Responding to a journalist, Mr. Dissanayaka said the UPFA and the SLFP would take the right decision at the right time on how to vote on the no confidence motion against Minister Bathiudeen on June 19. (Sandun A Jayasekera)
The plot thickens. The exposure publicly will expose the true culprits in this whole sordid drama. Now the pandan Karayas can’t sit still.
DillonDP Thursday, 30 May 2019 10:53 PM
There was nothing leaked to hamper national security. It was simple a bloody joke
Amith Thursday, 30 May 2019 11:39 PM
sensitive security info= security council was not met for 2 months = making the president naked.
Saman Tilakaratna Friday, 31 May 2019 05:24 AM
Don't be silly, it's not the exposure to intelligence information. It's about what happened and why the incident couldn't be prevented. Some poke their finger for everything whether its good or bad.
ravin Friday, 31 May 2019 05:31 AM
Hi !! when did you got up. Do not worry general public had numbered all politicasses days. Let's see.
malij Friday, 31 May 2019 07:11 AM
There was no intelligence exposure. The telecasting was stopped because the mind blowing carelessness
Rajiv Sena Friday, 31 May 2019 07:32 AM
What r u talking about sensitive security information.
WHEN THE HEAD OF SECURITY IS ACTING LIKE A JOKER.
Missaka Friday, 31 May 2019 08:02 AM
Exactly, except SF, others have no qualification at all to conduct this Inquiry. Stunned to see how they questioned that Intelligence officer in moronic manner! Cannot understand the motive of exposing sensitive Intelligence details openly!
දේශ මාමක Friday, 31 May 2019 08:04 AM
Intelligence is a priced commodity in SL, specially with the ones who’s inciting hatred at present..... hint hint... oh wow... we o we rate ourselves with media like daily mirror, and DM will not publish this for sure as their editors are guilty of propagating racist agendas ha ha
Rex Friday, 31 May 2019 08:34 AM
This is what Cardinal wanted, an open inquiry. We want Cardinal to respond to these "gentlemen" on behalf of the victims. These days he has gone mute! and raise questions on the other commission report and ensure their findings are revealed to the public.
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