By Sandun A. Jayasekera
Certain anti government elements want to keep the instability of the country until the forthcoming Presidential poll in November – December period but the government has determined not to let them exploit the Easter Sunday horror for their political advantage, Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake said.
Minister Dissanayake added that the anti Muslim riots on May 12 and 13 at Bingiriya,Gampaha, Kurunegala, Kuliyapitiya, Hettipola, Minuwangoda and Nattandiya were a part of this malicious attempt to keep the inter ethnic tension alive to score a few brownie points.
He told the media at the information Department yesterday that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was able to restore law and order within 12 hours after the National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) carried out a series of suicide bomb explosions in Colombo, Colombo suburbs and in Batticaloa on April 21.
“The Police, armed forces, the STF, intelligence services, CID and the TID have done a great job in apprehending almost all the extremist terrorists and suspects who have links to the NTJ and others have died in the explosions. In fact, the backbone of the NTJ has been broken and peace and stability has returned to the country.
It was a clear plan designed against the government. No doubt about it
Minister Dissanayake said there was relatively calm and peaceful environment for more than three weeks in the country following the Easter Sunday carnage until anti government groups started anti Muslim attacks on May 12th.
“It was a clear plan designed against the government. No doubt about it,” he said.
“The economy has been affected badly from the attack but it is not as serious as we thought earlier. India, UK and Switzerland have already lifted their travel advisories on Sri Lanka and tourist arrivals are fast improving,” Minister Dissanayake noted.
Responding to a journalist, Minister Dissanayake said the government has done all to compensate the victim families.
Rs.100,000 had been paid as funeral expenses and Rs. one million for a death. Compensation have been paid between Rs. 100,000 – Rs. 300,000 to injured persons, cost for reconstruction has been paid for damaged churches up to Rs. 200,000,000 and up to Rs.five million for compensation for damaged personal properties.
Pics by Nisal Baduge.