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POSTED AT 07:29 AM 24-04-2019

SLPP calls on Govt. to resign

Says intelligence lapses serious, wants Govt. to accept responsibility and step down

Image Courtesy: Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) yesterday called on the Government to resign over its intelligence lapses that the party insisted could have reduced the loss of life in the Easter Sunday attacks.  

Parliamentarian Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, speaking at a press briefing held at SLPP headquarters in Battaramulla, said the Government could not shift the responsibility to State officials to cover up their negligence and irresponsible actions.  

“They had tried to deflect blame and evade their responsibilities by passing the ball to some senior official. They have to answer to people of this country,” he charged.

He noted if the Government acted responsibly, according to principles of good governance which was the main election pledge of the Government, it should take the responsibility of its actions and resign.

He charged the Government had neglected prior warnings and kept the public in the dark, but took necessary measures to increase the security of politicians. “One of the Government’s primary responsibility is to establish and safeguard national security and protect the people, but instead of doing that, they had increased their security.” 

Referring to Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando’s statement given to a foreign media organisation, Yapa said Fernando had not acted according to the standards demanded by his post. He noted all public officials should act sensibly, and work to reduce the grief felt by the people. Yapa stated that he believed sufficient information existed to warn the Government of the attacks.  

“I have credible evidence to say that the information was given years ago. Some members of the National Thouwheed Jamaath were arrested, after the attack on several Buddhist temples and damaging Buddha statues. Most importantly, some Ministers had admitted that there was some pressure from a higher level to release them. Therefore, we are certain this did not happen overnight.” 

Speaking in his turn, MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the economy of the entire country had affected by the attacks. “This will directly affect the tourism industry, which is one of the major forms of generating foreign exchange for the county. I think the effects of this attack can last for five years,” he added.

He also said the attack would create new economic challenges, and solutions were needed to find ways to prevent a deepening impact on the economy.

Nuwan Senarathna, Pic by Lasantha Kumara