- Members insist public has right to know of statements made before PSC
By Chandani Kirinde
Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) looking into the Easter Sunday attacks on Tuesday dismissed claims that the committee was jeopardising national security by telecasting its proceedings live and keeping it open to the media, while reassuring that no information prejudicial to national security would be disclosed.
MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne said that all witnesses who appeared before the PSC had the prerogative to give evidence in camera if they so wished. “If there is any sensitive information which would in any way be prejudicial to national security, such information will not be disclosed in the presence of the media,” Dr. Wickramaratne said.
Dr. Wickramaratne added that the first day’s live telecast of proceedings of the PSC had ended abruptly but they were still unaware why and who was behind it. He said that this was the first time a PSC had a live telecast and it was important to keep the public abreast of its proceedings.
Several other committee members including MP Sarath Fonseka said that those who speak of threats to national security were clueless about what constituted such threats. “There was a big fuss about an ‘Eyes Only’ document, but these are routine tags on officials’ documents including administrative ones,” he said.TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that national security was the security of the country and its people and the public had the right to know what happens in the committee.
The other PSC members who were present yesterday included MPs Rauff Hakeem, Ravi Karunanayake, Ashu Marasinghe, Nalinda Jayatissa and Rajitha Senaratne.