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Sirisena defends himself over allegations of negligence in the Easter Attacks

Then President Maithripala Sirisena visits the bombed out Katuwapitiya Church days after the attack. The Opposition has called for his arrest/PMD Photo

ECONOMYNEXT- Former President Maithripala Sirisena says that he is not a barbarian to ignore intelligence about an imminent attack such as the Easter Sunday attack in 2019.

“I’m not a barbarian to ignore if such information came to me, I’m not such an undeveloped person,” he told Parliament today.

The former President said that on the very next day after the attacks, a cabinet minister in his government went before the media and said that the President has known about the attack before it happened.

“They were able to popularise a falsity about me among the people that I did not take the necessary measures to prevent the attack after knowing about it prior to the attack,” he said.

He added that the people in his government were able to use the theory of Nazi Propaganda Minister Dr Joseph Goebbels, where he had said “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it,” to popularise the matters connected to him with the Easter Sunday attack.

Moreover, he said that a normal person like him who is living in this society should be afraid or be moved in such a matter considering how the Buddha was insulted and how Jesus Christ was crucified.

He said that commissions should be appointed to look into accountability when considering things that happen from the Black July to the terrorist activities done by the LTTE until the end of the war if the leaders of the government are going to be held responsible for the failure to prevent such attacks.

“We should clearly understand that the attack that happened on 21 April is also an act of terrorism,” he said.

Further, he said that he led the country as the President for nearly 5 years without the Prime Minister to support him and without the support of the majority of the cabinet and the Parliament.

However, despite those problems as a government, he said they were able to lot of things for the country.

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Sirisena said that due to an incident in the east in 2017 an arrest warrant was issued against Zahran,

“But it is not the duty of the President to arrest a person to whom a warrant has been issued, It is a normal duty of the police,” he said.

Also, he said that legal charges should be filed against the terrorists in custody, who were arrested by the authorities following the attack without delaying them any further.

(Colombo/Mar26/2021)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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