Chief Government Whip and Highways Minister Johnston Fernando yesterday said that the opposition’s hypocrisy is amply displayed by the fact that they are crying about the rights and plight of the suspects of Easter Sunday terror attacks while forgetting the predicament of victims of those attacks.
Addressing the media after a meeting held at his Ministry in Battaramulla, the minister said: “Have you ever seen our opposition members talk of the plight of the Easter Sunday victims? Whenever an arrest is made and those who are responsible for the terror attacks are taken into custody, they make statements against the government for making such arrests and highlight the rights of the suspects. If the arrestee has a political background then the volume of their shout is so high and they cry that it is political victimisation,” the minister said.
Minister Fernando said that the opposition was the government in power when the Easter Sunday carnage took place and the opposition leader and his party men were under obligation to seek justice in the name of the victims and their family members. “The opposition members should actually cooperate with us to conduct these investigations rather than derailing them by raising wild allegations. I myself have asked them on numerous occasions to support the investigations. Instead they cry foul whenever police make arrests and take suspects into custody. They seemed to be under the opinion that these arrests are similar to the way they incarcerated the then opposition politicians under their government. This investigation is a serious matter pertaining to national security; it is not political witch hunt similar to their way of governing the country. We have given a free hand to investigators and the police to make the necessary arrests and detain the suspects as per the needs of the investigation. They would not be released just because the SJB members weep for the rights of those suspects. Over 269 persons were killed and 500 others wounded. Thousands of persons suffer the consequences of the loss of persons and properties. So I call on the opposition again to think seriously before criticizing the government and to think of the plight of the victims rather than the rights of those who had links with the terror groups before they open their mouths,” the Minister said.