Former President Maithripala Sirisena informed the PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks today that several Non-Governmental Organisations and politicians were directly involved in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) inquiries, hampering it from conducting independent inquiries during the former Government’s tenure.
The former President made the above statement while responding to a question raised by the representative from the Attorney General's (AG) Department regarding a statement made before the Commission by former Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka.
Earlier, testifying before the Commission, Mr. Ratnayaka said that pressure was bought upon Investigation Officers by former President Maithripala Sirisena when conducting inquiries, especially related to Army officers.
When the AG's department official posed the question on blaming former Minister Ratnayaka and CID officers for conducting certain inquiries, the former President had accepted the fact that he had blamed the former Minister and the officials.
However, former President Sirisena admitted that he was not aware that the CID was reporting facts to the Magistrate's Court according to provisions under Criminal Procedure Code regarding the above inquiries.
"I never asked to halt the independent inquiries but I blamed the CID officers and the former Minister for involving several NGOs and politicians when conducting these inquiries," he said.
Referring to some previous incidents, the former President said that due to certain political pressure that came upon current State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director, Brigadier Suresh Salley, he had taken steps to send him to Malaysia, highlighting LTTE threats.
"The CID was trying to arrest Salley politically and I had taken steps to send him to Malaysia with the assistance of the former Army Commander," he said.
The former President also said that the CID had taken former heads of tri-forces and the former Defence Secretary to the Courts against a bribery case, without his knowledge.
"Dilrukshi Dias Wickremesinghe was then Director-General of the Bribery Commission (BC) and she has taken unnecessary decisions without informing me. She was working at the BC in the mornings and she was doing politics at Temple Trees in the evenings," he said.
The former President also said that during his tenure he had difficulty in conducting the Kandy Esala Perahera because certain NGOs and politicians had said that using elephants in the Perahera festival was animal cruelty.
"These NGOs and politicians made use of elephants for other purposes and claimed that using elephants in the Perahera festival was animal cruelty. These actions by certain politicians in the previous government had affected the country's Sinhala- Buddhist traditions," he said. (Yoshitha Perera)