By Sandun A Jayasekera
Co-Cabinet spokesman, Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the government has not taken a decision to ban any religious or political organisation but the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) that probed the Easter Sunday carnage has recommended prohibiting 11 organisations that had allegedly supported or spread Muslim extremist ideology.
In response to a journalist at the weekly cabinet news briefing yesterday, Minister Rambukwella said the Attorney General after close scrutiny of the PCoI report has decided to ban those organiszations that had posed a threat to the national security and inter-communal harmony in the country.
Responding to a journalist, Minister Rambukwella said having in place a special security arrangement today at churches when Christians commemorate the second anniversary of the Easter Sunday massacre was a government responsibility.
“More than 99% are peace-loving people. But there can be one among thousands of people hell-bent on creating mayhem and rejoice in human suffering. The special security to churches is to prevent such dastardly acts,” he emphasised. Asked as to why ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ has not been banned, Minister Rambukwella said the AG may have thought it was not a threat to the country.
“He would have definitely banned it if he thinks it is a threat to the national security,” he added.
The AG, the CID and the TID would decide what to do with the banned organisations before long. The government has nothing to with the ban.
Answering to another journalist, Minister Rambukwella said Provincial Council polls would be held after the necessary electoral reforms were passed in Parliament and added he could not give a specific date on which polls would be held.
“To pass the electoral reforms would take time as all those concerned needs to approve the reforms. The party leaders have tentatively decided to have an electoral system that consists 70% of PC members from the first past the post system and 30% from the PR system. But different viewpoints remain on the proposal to have three members from one party to seat and two members each from all districts to the party that polls the biggest number of votes,” he stressed.