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Tax payers poised to cough up Rs.45 Mn on another debate on Easter attack

17 April 2024 06:03 am - 26     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, April 16 (Daily Mirror) -  Tax payers will have to cough up as much as Rs. 45 million as the cost of conducting yet another three-day parliamentary debate on the Easter Sunday attack for the fourth time, with uncertainty looming whether it will be a meaningless exercise with key questions unanswered once again.

Previously, three such debates took place in the House, but failed to answer the question regarding the mastermind behind the attack. People, mostly the victims are still disturbed by speculation and demand justice in the form of ascertaining the truth behind the whole saga.

The Business Committee of Parliament that met on on April 5 decided to have a three day debate on the Easter Sunday attacks during the first week of sessions after the Sinhala and Tamil New year.

Accordingly the debate is scheduled for April 25,26 and 27. It is going to take place in the backdrop of remarks by former President Maithripala Sirisena that he was ready to divulge exclusive details about the Easter Sunday carnage. He even implicated the name of a country in the neighbourhood.

 

The main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) demanded this debate in the hope of fixing Mr. Sirisena to reveal the truth as the then Head of State in charge of national security. 

The House debated on the Easter Sunday mayhem in 2019 for the first time. The House debated on the report of the presidential commission which probed the attacks in March 2021. Another debate took place just after Channel 4 of UK came out with a documentary on the Easter Sunday attacks in September, 2023. Accordingly the debate which is set to begin on April 24 is the fourth one on the subject.

The debate which is to begin on April 24 is to cost the public Rs 45 million if one goes by the remark made by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena who claimed that the three day debate on the no faith motion against him cost Rs.45 million in March this year. Though most of the opposition members have repeatedly said there is a mastermind behind the attack, no one has named any person.

One time Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekera once revealed in Parliament that Naufer Mawlavi was the mastermind behind the attack. State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon who commented on the matter said a parliamentary debate on the Easter Sunday attack will be a meaningless exercise as what is said in the House is not legally binding. “One can utter anything using parliamentary privileges but none of it is legally bound,” he said.

He said there have been many questions raised but nothing has been achieved. He said Parliament cannot resolve matters pertaining to the Easter Sunday mayhem.

“It is the judiciary which prosecutes perpetrators and it has already begun that exercise. A case is being heard by a bench of three judges in the Supreme Court while a few other cases are also pending on the Easter Sunday mayhem,” he said. SJB MP Hector Appuhamy said the opposition merely accepted the debate. “We are aware that Parliament cannot do anything with regard to the mayhem. However, we will get the opportunity of talking and raising more questions during the debate. We can also question former President Maithripala Sirisena on his recent statements,” he said.

Member of the Communications Committee Archdiocese of Colombo Fr. Cyril Gamini who was skeptical on the matter said it is good if a debate brings out undisclosed facts but the fact of the matter is whether such a thing would happen. “It is good if new facts come out of the debate but the matter is whether such a thing happens. Such a thing has not happened during the earlier debates,” he said.


  Comments - 26

  • Joshua Wednesday, 17 April 2024 06:17 AM

    Bunch of idiots and rigies continue to shamelessly waste money whilst the president imposes mote taxes on the people. Surely time to chase these fellows. Think my friends....

    saman Wednesday, 17 April 2024 05:45 PM

    We are 1000% in agreement with what you say. When you speak to people in any area even in the hill country (even traditional voters over 30-40 years), they say that they are ready to chase these guys and make a change.

    Don Wednesday, 17 April 2024 07:32 AM

    Just prorogue the parliament and do not call them back until the presidential election is done. Ask all MPs to hand over vehicles and retrench personally appointed staff. The money saved can be transferred to funds required for national elections. Nothing to lose by doing this. The cabinet can run the country until elections are held.

    Steve Wednesday, 17 April 2024 08:23 AM

    Don't waste tax payers money if you 225 have nothing else to do.

    R F A Perera Wednesday, 17 April 2024 08:31 AM

    As long as justice is not done to victims and their families it is crude reminder to us like many other mysterious killings and mayhems in this land , we are disorderly dysfunctional and lawless nation. In such a broken nation peace and prosperity are absence and brokenness caused by disrespect and distrust over riding land instead of good will and hope. We are already paying unimaginable big price for distrust and disrespect which is no comparison to the cost of this debate.

    This is reality Wednesday, 17 April 2024 08:49 AM

    If the SJB is seriously concerned about the economy and the meaningless expenditure it will incur on the country, it should take steps to have the debate withdrawn immediately. Only lunatics will wish to spend Rs. 45 million just to ask a few questions and sling mud all over the place while the majority of the population struggles to have a meal. THEM O'CRAZY indeed!

    Ian Bertus Wednesday, 17 April 2024 08:51 AM

    This money is fully worth it, instead of spending on useless Independence celebrations

    Have International Assistance Wednesday, 17 April 2024 09:52 AM

    Stop this nonsense. Get reputable international assistance from England, US and Australia. Even if it’s gonna cost a considerable amount(hope their governments will charge at cost), there will be a fair investigation and hopefully find the source of this crime. Current debates and investigations by the local authorities won’t be accepted by the citizens as most will be biased and has been already carried out a few times.

    Rajapaksa Supporter Wednesday, 17 April 2024 10:24 AM

    Real culprits, the MasterMinds of this brutal attack will never be caught or punished because they are still in power.

    PEOPLES POWER WILL DO THE TRICK A REPEAT PERFOMANCE Wednesday, 17 April 2024 02:50 PM

    CORRECT, ANOTHER INVESTIGATION SWEPT UNDER THE CARPET. WE HAVE HAD THE MOST INEFFICIENT GOVERNMENTS THE PAST DECADES AND NOW IT APPEARS A CONTINUATION OF CORRUPTION AND INEFFICENCY. MAJORITY OF THOSE SITTING IN THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE HOOFED OUT AND PUT BEFORE A COURT OF LAW, THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING FOR THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE, OTHER THAN MAJORITY FEATHERING THEIR OWN NESTS.

    sam Wednesday, 17 April 2024 10:55 AM

    Ways and means of wasting public funds when people are suffering.

    Nodaking kalakanni Wednesday, 17 April 2024 11:49 AM

    Can we pay for the masseuses after the long and tiring debate by our genius politicians?

    Ranil Wednesday, 17 April 2024 11:54 AM

    The parliamentary bar will be very busy during this time. Have a feast my politician friends for times will get tough for some of you scumbags.

    Lumbini Wednesday, 17 April 2024 11:56 AM

    A situation exists as a result of hell bound politicians and clergy of all sects play sinful games.

    Go to war with India as Maitripala suggeted! Wednesday, 17 April 2024 01:14 PM

    What will the debate achieve? To give lime light to Maitripala, who is a burden to the nation? To give an opportunity to Sajith to continue his sales pitch? To heap insult on the CID for inefficiency, while their hands are tied to their necks by politicians. Maitripala is drawing a salary as MP, while drawing a pension and benefits as ex-president. Even oil rich Kuwait will think twice to spend this money.

    Rex Jarkie Wednesday, 17 April 2024 01:20 PM

    another big eye wash waste of moneywhat do they care dose't effect them it is the politicans who are the dam liars

    Jonny Wednesday, 17 April 2024 01:27 PM

    This is the nature of diyawanna pig culture club. Everybody linked to isis, carlton lodge and magliyana marfia are responsible. Some of them know the law but almost all are not partial to the law.

    NV Jen Wednesday, 17 April 2024 01:30 PM

    Justice delayed is justice denied, andwe all know who the culprits are in this land where law of the jungle mostly prevails. The reason Maithri, Gota and Ranil don't want to proceed with the case as it's gallows await for some VVIP's. Bring back Shani Abeyasekara's team along with a team from Scotland yard to finalise the case instead of pointless discussions in the parliament again and again.

    Ron Wednesday, 17 April 2024 01:54 PM

    Five years gone by hopefully something wiil happen to get the truth out of this ongoing drama that innocent people's lives been lost families love ones in limbo....hopefully justice been done accordingly with LAW

    WHY DEBATE TO FIND OUT WHO GAVE THE ORDER?. WHAT IS OUR C.I.D. AND INTELEGENCE AGENCIES APPOINTED FOR, ISN'T THIS THEIR JOB? Wednesday, 17 April 2024 02:44 PM

    45 MILLION FOR A THREE-DAY DEBATE!!! THESE JOKERS ARE PAID BIG MONTHLY WAGES. WHY THE HELL SHOULD TAX PAYERES HAVE TO FOOT THIS BILL WHEN THE LAST DEBATES DID NOT HAVE ANY OUTCOMES?? THEY SHOULD BE ORDERED TO BE PRESENT AND WHAT MAY I ASK IS THIS 45 MILLION FOR, CAN ANYONE ENLIGHTEN ME?

    Mohamed Adham Wednesday, 17 April 2024 02:49 PM

    Chase the whole lot out people. While we are burdened with ever increasing Taxes and the lot, money on these wasteful expenditures are still continuing unabated. Nothing is going to come out of this as usual. The whole gang protects one another at our expense, while laughing at us.

    M Fernando Wednesday, 17 April 2024 04:52 PM

    The headline almost makes it sound as if we the taxpayer, actually have a choice in the matter ! Meanwhile, lets import more duty-free vehicles for the 225, someone has to pay for those as well.

    George Wednesday, 17 April 2024 04:53 PM

    " Tax payers to cough out " ? We read in news media that big businesses evade tax and owe millions in taxes to the government. From where will the tax payers cough out 45 million?

    Nakipala Gamage Wednesday, 17 April 2024 06:17 PM

    These 225 Kaalakanni have no idea of people and their survival! Just talking rubbish and waste money to divert people from election camp! Still some Gon Wassas and WAl aliyas are their with dead flowers (pohottu)!!

    DISGUSTED Saturday, 20 April 2024 04:18 PM

    NO MORE DEBATES, LET THE CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT HANDLE YET ANOTHER DEBATE. WE HAVE MORE DEBATORS THAT KEEP DEBATING AMOUNGST THEMSELVES. WHY NOT A DEBATE WITH THE PUBLIC ASK THE QUESTIONS AND POLITICIANS GIVE THE ANSWERS, I AM SURE OUR PEOPLE WILL GIVE THE POLITICIANS A RUN FOR THEIR MONEY.

    Tissa Fernando Monday, 22 April 2024 10:27 AM

    Why not pay Rs 45 millions as additional compensation to the victims. With Sira's 150 million , it will be 195 million outstanding


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