Sirisena-Karu clash over media coverage of probe committee

The disagreement between Parliament and the Executive continues over the decision to open the proceedings of the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the Easter Sunday suicide bombings to the Media.

President Maithripala Sirisena disapproves of bringing in top officials, including intelligence officers, before the committee.

The President has also said he will not allow active officers to be summoned before the PSC, and that he will take full responsibility over the decision.   

“The Attorney General has informed me in writing that the sittings of the PSC, while five petitions on the Easter Sunday attacks are pending before the Supreme Court, could adversely affect the court proceedings,” the President was quoted as saying, in a statement released by the President’s Media Division. 

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya replying to this statement says that the decision to open the proceedings to the Media is a decision by Parliament taken in a bipartisan manner.

While stating that he is in no way challenging the powers of the President, Jayasuriya says in a Press Release that “the decision to open the proceedings to the Media is a decision taken by the committee concerned. The Speaker has no part to play in it.”

He also observes that while five opposition Members had been appointed to the committee, the UPFA MPs are not participating.

“If they were in the committee then these issues could have been resolved” he adds.

In the testimony given so far, officials such as Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundera and Former Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando have said that President Sirisena prevented the IGP from attending Security Council meetings.

It was also revealed that no proper Security Council meetings had been held since October last year.

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