Speaker to seek compromise with President
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya will chair a meeting in Parliament tomorrow morning seeking to break the deadlock between the House and the Executive over the Parliamentary Select Committee probe into the Easter attacks.
President Maithripala Sirisena is refusing to permit Intelligence Officials from testifying before the committee because the proceedings are open to Media.
He believes that exposing the officers who are engaged in sensitive matters to the public endangers national security.
As Minister of Defense and of Law and Order all the Intelligence Agencies come under the President.
Legally Parliament can summon any official and a refusal can lead to punishment by the courts.
This has put some of these officers in a difficult situation.
At tomorrow’s meeting the probe committee is likely to propose that the Media be kept out of the room when Intelligence officials testify as a compromise.
Public anger against Security Establishment high
The main quest of the probe committee is to find out the failures and lapses that occurred around the Easter Sunday attacks.
It has already been revealed that accurate information about the attacks had been made available to the Sri Lankan Intelligence community nearly two weeks before the suicide bombers struck killing more than 250 people.
No security plan was put into effect to prevent the blasts and public anger against what seems to be a failure on the part of the Security Establishment is very high.
The President has been angry that the publicly conducted probe appears to blame him for the failures.
Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundera testified before the committee that the President asked him to take the blame for the lapses and resign.
In turn, he said, Sirisena promised him a diplomatic assignment.
Last week the President told several government Ministers that he would not attend Cabinet meetings if this issue is not resolved.
As a result, the customary Tuesday morning Cabinet meeting was not held on 11 June.
The Cabinet is slated to meet tomorrow as scheduled.
After that, the Cabinet asked the Speaker to resolve the issue.
Public interest in the inquiry is high. At first when the proceedings were broadcast live there were many viewers.
Even recorded and played back in the evenings they attract large audiences and clips are shared widely on Social Media.