The government would not hesitate to introduce additional laws and regulations if and when necessary despite the withdrawal of regulations issued to set up 8 High Security Zones (HSZ) in Colombo to restraint recurrence of what the government called ‘acts of terrorism’ Cabinet spokesman, Mass Media, Highways and Transport Minister Bandula Gunaardana said today.
In response to Daily Mirror when asked yesterday at the weekly post cabinet news briefing as to why no action has been taken against the Defense Secretary, General Kamal Gunaratne and Public Security Minister Tiran Alles who have dragged President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the government in particular and the country at large into an extremely embarrassing position by issuing an illegal gazette notification under the provisions of the obsolete “Official Secrets Act of 1955’ to set up HSZs, Minister Gunawardana said the country faced more embarrassment domestically and globally when an innocent law maker was beaten to death in a beastly manner on the highway and dozens of houses, personal property and vehicles of government ministers worth millions of rupees came under arson attack on May 9th.
“I have personal experience in this regard. After hearing and watching what happened in Sri Lanka on that day, foreigners now ask us whether it is safe to travel to Sri Lanka. Would not they be stopped on the road when they leave the airport or can they pump gasoline to their vehicles un-interrupted? This is the stigma Sri Lanka has to face. Not the issuance of that gazette,” he stressed.
The government and President Wickremesinghe would introduce appropriate laws if necessary in a different strategy to combat violence, Minister Gunawardana added.
It has now been revealed that the gazette notification announcing HSZs was a brainchild of General Kamal Gunaratne and Minister Tiran Alles. They had failed to consult the Attorney General Sanjaya Rajaratnam PC, as the norm before submitting the draft of the gazette to President Wickremesinghe for his signature which later proved to be a big blunder. (Sandun A Jayasekera)