Responding to the statement made by UPFA MP Arundhika Fernando in parliament regarding the whereabouts of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, the Government said it was the duty of the law enforcement authorities to inquire into the statement. The Government would only ‘review’ the progress once a month.
Responding to a barrage of questions from Journalists regarding the statement, Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said he had spoken to Mr. Fernando after his statement in parliament.
“I asked him where he saw him and he said he can’t remember, he said he saw him somewhere in Paris,” the minister said.
When journalists repeatedly pointed out the seriousness of the claim and the nonchalant attitude of the Government, the minister said the MP was under no compulsion to inform the law enforcement authorities regarding the alleged ‘sighting’.
He said the MP could not be questioned as he was protected by parliamentary privilege, but he could on his own volition provide information to the law enforcement authorities.
“Just because he saw him doesn’t mean he needs to inform the Police. He could have kept quiet instead of saying this if he wanted to,” he said and when journalists pointed out that he had a duty to inform the police because of the criminal nature of the case and the rumpus it has created, the minister said, “the law enforcement authorities will do what they have to.”
He said the progress on investigations was reviewed once a month, but when asked as to last month’s progress regarding the case, he said he did not have the files in his possession.(Hafeel Farizs)