Responding to reports that Minister Rishad Bathiudeen had influenced Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake to release a suspect arrested over the Easter Sunday attacks, the latter said today no one had influenced him but that the minister did make a request.
“It was a mere request and influence was never exercised. When an individual was arrested, Minister Bathiudeen telephoned me and I gave him two answers which some media outlets interpreted as ‘influence’ whereas it was a request made,” he said.
When asked what the Army Commander’s reaction was to such a request, he said: “First, I told I would look into the matter and revert when he mentioned a name. The second time, I still didn’t look into the matter. On the third time, however, I confirmed to him that such an individual was present and asked him to call back after one and a half years,” he said.
The Army Commander said the minister had inquired about an individual by the name of Mohamed who was arrested in Dehiwala.
When asked about the nature of the request, he said: “The minister tried to describe who the concerned individual’s father was and asked me to look into him and what could be done. When the minister asked what could be done, I then told him to call me in one and a half years time because I have the legal authority to detain him for that long,” he said. (Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya)
Video by Janaka
Mark Thursday, 16 May 2019 11:52 PM
Really? Was it a request or pressure? What ever it is hoe can he do it while he knows the seriousness of the issue. Take him for questioning.
SandunW Friday, 17 May 2019 12:04 AM
Absolutely disgraceful that a government minister should request the release of a terrorist suspect. Post Easter bombings, the state of the national security is known nationally, and internationally now. How dare he compromise the national security even further. This is not only a serious lapse of judgement, but also implies he is complicit to the terrorist attack, and trying to pervert the course of justice. More worryingly, WHY is he doing this??
Buddy Friday, 17 May 2019 12:23 AM
Proud of the army commander for not bending to the minster's request. A big thank you to him for not sabotaging ongoing investigations; so crucial to expose everyone involved. Pity the other nine suspects (copper factory)were released on bail. Error or another request??
nilaksha abeywardena Friday, 17 May 2019 12:25 AM
Lalith de Silva Friday, 17 May 2019 01:04 AM
Q - Is the suspect released or Not? Over to you Sir.
Anpanman Friday, 17 May 2019 01:35 AM
Caught red handed?
Demuni de silva Friday, 17 May 2019 01:35 AM
It seems that Army Chief acts (in this conference) as a politician. Some newspaper owners rouse the people on religion an race which are the sensitive factors of the human beings.
Michael Friday, 17 May 2019 01:49 AM
Well Minister, in any civil society this would be construed as an attempt to influence an outcome. A most undesirable request- who cares a "continental' as to who Mohammed's father was! Good response from the Army Commander. from Michael - Melbourne
Chami ran Friday, 17 May 2019 01:56 AM
A request by a politician is influence!
rohan muda Friday, 17 May 2019 02:41 AM
well said .
Nimal Friday, 17 May 2019 03:51 AM
Time to get rid of that dirty Baithudeen!
REQUEST vs ORDER Friday, 17 May 2019 04:54 AM
I suppose this is the first time a politico has "requested" . Probably at other times it would have been an "order" given by the powers that be. Note - "probably" , as I believe our law abiding politicos do not stoop to this level ! - But how come those caught at immigration for passport frauds get released immediately ?
sil Friday, 17 May 2019 07:01 AM
This minister tried to influence ,army commander to see how get released his known person's son who got caught in the treachery of killing more than 250 people,this minister should be sacked
Venom Friday, 17 May 2019 07:22 AM
Request or influenced the minister should have been arrested immediately because it was regarding a suspected terrorist and the minister should have known better than to meddle in the law. Hats off to the army commander!
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