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PSC on Easter Sunday attacks trying to damage President’s reputation: SLFP


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 SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara 

– Pic by Chamila Karunarathne  

 

  • Claims PSC working according to a political agenda
  • Says PSC cannot continue its proceedings as five cases pending before SC 
  • Insists PSC cannot confine its proceedings to testimonies, documents should also be reviewed
  • SLFP to take legal action against presenting Samurdhi to UNP supporters

By Nuwan Senarathna

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday said the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to look into the Easter Sunday attacks was working on a political agenda, targeted at damaging the reputation of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Speaking to media at the SLFP head office, Jayasekara said the PSC members were attempting to create the impression among the public that President Maithripala Sirisena failed in his responsibilities as Defence Minister, ahead of the Easter Sunday attacks.

“Proceedings of the PSC has shown that its members only target the President. They did not question the role of the Prime Minister, or the rest of the Government. It is obvious that the United National Party (UNP) is trying to trash the reputation of the President by using the PSC,” he said.

He claimed PSC proceedings were one-sided, as they only questioned the role of the President and actions taken by him after receiving prior warnings by intelligence officials of a possible attack in April.  

Jayasekara argued the PSC cannot continue its proceedings, as several Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions were filed over the Easter Sunday attack before the Supreme Court. He argued that a case being heard before the Supreme Court cannot be discussed in Parliament under Standing Orders. He argued therefore that PSC proceedings had violated Standing Orders.

“There are about five cases filed before the Supreme Court on the Easter Sunday attacks, and they will be heard by the Supreme Court. Therefore PSC proceedings will overlap the Supreme Court’s proceedings,” he said. 

He also reiterated that under the Official Secrets Act, public officials cannot divulge sensitive details that could impact national security.   

“Under the Official Secret Act, public officials are bound to protect information that is vital for national security, but at the PSC they had to share information with PSC members. These sessions are open for the media. Therefore my argument is that legal actions can be taken against public officials under this Act,” he added. 

He also said documents to verify testimonies should be presented before the PSC. 

Jayasekera also criticised the Government over the selection process used to pick 6000 additional Samurdhi beneficiaries, alleging they were only presented to UNP supporters. He said the SLFP will take legal action against those responsible, and requested the public to send their evidence to SLFP Head Office.


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