August 26, 2019
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    Muslims do not condone terror attacks - PM Featured

    April 24, 2019

    The Muslim people do not condone the terror attacks carried out on Easter Sunday and are against such violence, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinge said in Parliament yesterday.He vowed to wipe out terrorism from Sri Lanka with all possible assistance from the international community.

    Making a special statement in Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said in Sri Lanka too terrorism has developed into a global threat. Sri Lanka too is now in the global terrorist incidents map thanks to those who unleashed terror on Easter Sunday.“Guerilla warfare had been practised in the past by the terrorists. There were airborne attacks too by the terrorists in support of their ground operations. After 2009 that situation changed.”

    “Today’s scenario is completely different. There was a political objective behind those attacks. There had been a similar situation in the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and Falkland Islands. Today, there is a new situation where people are killed by using car bombs. There is a global terrorism problem which thrives on the basis of religious objectives. This is long-term terrorism. Though it is handled by a handful of people they undergo extensive training and they meticulously plan these attacks over a long period of time,” he said.

    However, the Prime Minister said that the Security Forces, Police and members of the intelligence community are now pursuing the perpetrators of the Easter Sunday attacks. The Security Forces and Police have been given the power to make arrests under the Emergency Laws and to detain the suspects. We have already made several arrests, he added.

    “Adding that the Muslim people are against these heinous crimes,” the Prime Minister called on all who are against terrorism to unite.He said these attacks were aimed at causing maximum economic damage. “This attack was launched at a time when our economy was improving. We would not let to develop to another 30 year long war. We would end this threat as soon as possible.”

    The UN Terrorist Financing Convention has been designed to criminalize the financing of terrorism. The convention also seeks to promote Police and judicial co-operation to prevent, investigate and punish those financing such acts. The UN Secretary General has appealed to all countries to support this convention.

    The Prime Minister also noted that many foreign leaders had pledged their support to Sri Lanka to eradicate terrorism. “We would obtain all possible support from the international community to eliminate terrorism from this land. We have faced greater challenges in the past and we have succeeded,” the PM said.

    Opposition Leader takes Govt. to task over terror attacks
    Opposition Leader and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa holding the government responsible for the Easter Sunday terror attack, stated that if anyone should step down taking the responsibility of the attack, it should be the government. Rajapaksa also said that the government should not try to single out any officers to take the responsibility of the attack. The Opposition Leader also said that he genuinely believes that this serious issue cannot be resolved if the President and the Prime Minister of the country stand in disagreement.

    “The Sunday attacks did not take place due to the negligence of one or two officials. We can now see that the government is preparing to sacrifice some official and wash their hands off the matter.

    This incident occurred because of the conduct of this government from the time they came into power in January 2015. If anyone is to resign over these incidents, it should be the government. Despite the persecution that the intelligence services had been subject to, they did obtain prior intelligence relating to this attack and conveyed the information to certain quarters.

    But nothing happened thereafter. That warning had been sent to my security officers as well, but they did not keep me informed about the threat,” the Opposition Leader said.

    Rajapaksa accused the government of harassing and hunting down Armed Forces personnel who carried out duties on behalf of the nation.

    “The government should at least now to realise that you cannot run this country according to the dictates coming from foreign countries. We have to solve our own problems.

    The government was preparing to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act on the instructions of their foreign masters.

    If that Act had been repealed, what kind of a position would we be in today? Because the government was engaged in relentlessly persecuting its own armed forces, we became an easy target for terrorists. No other country in the world has persecuted and weakened their own armed forces and intelligence services in this manner. Terrorists observe these things and plan accordingly.” Rajapaksa stated.

    Commending Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to be only one of the few persons in the government who are genuinely interested in national security, Opposition Leader Rajapaksa said that some of the arrests of Armed Forces and intelligence services personnel that took place after the government came into power was very often not based on solid evidence.

    However, when Rajapaksa requested the government to stop “hunting down” Armed Forces officials, Filed Marshal Sarath Fonseka stood up and stretched out his hands claiming (off the microphone) that he was too one such victim.

    The Opposition Leader also extended their fullest cooperation to the law enforcements authorities and the Armed Forces to ensure national security.

    “I request the people not to take the law into their own hands and to extend their fullest cooperation to the law enforcement authorities and the Armed Forces to solve this problem.

    We must remember that terrorists have no religion. The public needs more information about some matters and I would like to address the following questions to the government.” the former President furthered.

    Rajapaksa also pointed out that in January 2015, he handed over a completely secure and peaceful country to the new President.He also said that the people have no use for a government that cannot assure them of the safety of their lives.“We had strengthened the intelligence services so that there would be absolutely no threat to the national security of the country. Our intelligence services worked closely with other intelligence services of neighbouring countries and other international intelligence services to ensure the security of the country.Whenever we got wind of a threat to national security, we acted on it. The Easter Sunday attacks would never have taken place under our government.” Rajapaksa observed.



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