Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said he would agree with Colombo's Archbishop His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith’s proposal to appoint an independent commission to probe Easter Sunday attacks.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe who was speaking during the opening of the Galle District branch office of the Department of Registration of Persons yesterday said it was always possible to appoint another commission to probe the Easter Sunday attacks.
“Cardinal Ranjith had wanted an independent commission appointed to probe the Easter Sunday attacks. The President appointed a commission to look into the attacks initially. In addition, the parliamentary select committee is also carrying out investigations on the attack. We can have a look at the reports of both probes and appoint another commission. We agree with the Cardinal’s proposal,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said state institutions such as the Department of Immigration and Emigration nabbed those who were teaching in madrasas illegally soon after the Easter Sunday attacks. He said more than 200 persons who were arrested after the attacks are still in the custody.
“We acted instantly to bring the situation back to normal after the attack. There was a fear psychosis after the April 21 attacks. Children were not sent to school. Attendance was low even after the schools were opened after the attacks. I was advised to close schools once again. However, I said we should look at the situation for a few more days see whether the attendance would increase. It did increase at the end of the day. Money circulation also improved later,” he said.
The Prime Minister added that the April 21 attacks did have a negative impact on the economy. “The tourism industry was almost at a standstill but we expect only a ten per cent loss of tourists arrivals during the months of November and December, “ he said in this regard.
He also said smart identity cards had become a necessity with the development of technology. “ It is possible to get all the details of an individual using a personal identity card in many countries. This includes details of a person’s bank accounts. Sri Lanka should also go for such smart type of identity cards,” he said. (Yohan Perera)