Easter Sunday bombing: Questions to Minister of Defence, Law and Order

Wednesday, 24 April 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



  • Cost of manipulating higher defence management – National Security Council

By Arun Kumaresan, 

Air Vice Marshal (Ret’d)

It was a sad and horrific day for all humans not only Sri Lankans nor Christians. Tentacles of religious fundamentalism and extremism have consumed many innocent lives on the day they were celebrating the resurrection of Christ. But as the reports indicate there had been a pre warning; not general but specific to violent acts targeting the Christians. 

Mr. President: You have been preoccupied in your attempt to seek a second term; in such course you have increasingly taken all aspects of higher management defence and security into your hands. Before coming into this specific incident; there are questions that are related to your conduct as the Minister of Defence relating to higher defence management.

Mr. President: You are aware that the higher defence management of the nation is tasked with the National Security Council. It comprises, in addition to you, the Prime Minister, Ministers of the subject of Finance, Law and Order, and Foreign Affairs, Secretaries to the subject of Defence, Finance, Law and Order, and Foreign affairs, Service Chiefs and the IGP. 

When required, Heads of Intelligence Services are called in for specific briefings to take stock of threats to national security. This is the way matters relating to higher defence management are conducted and courses of action formulated in any democratic nation. However, in contrast on your specific instructions, many a times such meetings have been conducted in the absence of the PM and other UNP Ministers from 2015. In addition, instructions have also been given to the participants who have been cleared by you to attend such meetings, to keep the time and venue secret, to shield it from the PM and other UNP Ministers.

Mr. President: Question 1 – In your preoccupation of your secret agenda to consolidate power, did you violate the ‘norm and form’ of the conduct of the higher defence management by intentionally omitting legitimate members in such high value discussions?

Mr. President: I wish to remind you, that after you intentionally violated the Constitution and appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister, you took over the subject of Law and Order under Ministry of Defence. Even after the defeat of the political coup initiated by you, you continued to hold this portfolio under your purview. Hence, the entire security apparatus of the nation was under your total command and control. It is now a public knowledge that there was a pre-warning by the Intelligence Services that attacks were being planned by a religious fundamentalist group targeting Christians especially during Easter.

In this context, the statement by the Prime Minister has great relevance – Quote: “Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had noted that although intelligence units had provided information on a possible attack, adequate precautions were not taken to prevent it. He has further added that he and the ministers were not informed of this as well.”

This substantiates that such serious matters affecting national security have again been kept away from the Prime Minister who is a legitimate member of the National Security Council and reinforces the earlier assertion of the conduct of illegitimate National Security Council meetings under your stewardship.

Mr. President, the above sounds very serious; you may have no sense and fear to trespass Constitutional boundaries; but now your acts disturbing higher defence management structures has resulted in loss of lives, bloodshed and mayhem. It only reflects your foolish arrogance, self-centred decision making and utter incompetency of governing the nation.

Mr. President: Question 2 – Aren’t you culpable of the offence of ‘manslaughter’ due to your intentional actions to marginalise the National Security Council and not acting on the credible intelligence that was in hand to prevent this catastrophe?

Mr. President, you have the right to visit Thirupathi in India. For a person “doing the right” to his fellow countrymen, the God will visit him or her. A person not doing the right to his people, will not and should not be tolerated by anyone leave alone the God. You by your inaction and selfish actions coupled with petty thinking have aided and abetted this “manslaughter”.

Note to readers: The main issue the President discusses at these illegitimate National Security Council meetings sans UNP members; was it to check what the UNP Government is up to?