Almost all terror suspects arrested – Acting Defence Minister

Up to 97 per cent of the suspects linked to the terror group that carried out the Easter Sunday bombings have been taken into custody, Acting Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said yesterday (15).

The Minister made this remark speaking to journalists following a meeting with the Chief Prelates of the Asigiri and Malwathu Chapters.  in which he briefed them on the current security situation in the country.

Wijewardene also said that security forces are on the lookout for the remaining cadres of the terrorist groups, adding that anyone who aided the terrorists even in minor ways were being arrested. He insisted that the Government has not interfered with the investigations.

“The Government has not censored the media, but requests it to act responsibly to prevent ethnic disharmony,” Wijewardene said. He also said that false rumours circulating on social media has created a fear psychosis among the people.

Explaining the arrest of Dan Priyasad and Amith Weerasinghe, who lead two well known chauvinistic groups, and Namal Kumara of the Anti Corruption Front, the Minister said their connection to the recent violent incidents in the Northwestern province will be investigated.

The acting minister, condemning the violent incidents in the Kuliyapitiya, Nattandiya, and Minuwangoda areas, said that such incidents obstruct the security forces’ operations to apprehend the terrorists.

“Investigations on terrorists are delayed when security forces have to control these kinds of acts,” he said. “The security forces have acted on tip-offs received from the Muslim community to arrest extremists; there are a large number of Muslims who reject extremism. When such innocents are harassed, even moderate Muslims may be pushed to extremism,” he said.

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