Security situation under control and normalcy restored " President
[May 08 2019]
President Maithripala Sirisena said that as authority
had been entrusted to the security forces to carry out their duties
without hindrance, the situation has been brought under control and
normalcy has been restored in the country. He said that he had
instructed the security forces to eliminate all those terrorists
involved in the Easter Sunday attack.
"This terrorist organisation has been established
against the Western civilization. It is against Christianity, the Church
and the Cross. They are against the US and white men. Their target is to
hoist their flag in the Vatican."
Addressing the Parliament on May 7, President
Maithripala Sirisena also noted that he had ensured the participation of
the opposition politicians in the National Security Council. He said
that he not only allowed Opposition MPs but also the members of the
entire Cabinet to participate in NSC meetings. In addition Colombo
Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith too had once sat in the council, the
President said while participating in the two day debate on the current
security situation in the country.
The Pesident said the members in the terror group that
instigated the Easter Sunday attacks was around 150 and 99% of them had
been arrested by now and many of the terror suspects involved in the
Easter Sunday attacks have been taken into custody.
"Of those taken into custody 56 have been identified
as those with links to terror groups and of them, 12 are identified as
the most dangerous. The security forces have so far found 13 safe houses
and 41 bank accounts used by the terrorists. Those bank accounts have
now been frozen, President Sirisena said.
In his statement during the Parliamentary debate on
the security situation in the country he said, action has been taken to
confiscate the bank accounts, property and assets of those involved in
the Easter Sunday attacks.
"The terror group had paid two million each to those
who supported it.
However, I have no intention of spelling out the two
letter name of the terrorist outfit because no leader of a state would
The President said that he received the reports of the
Easter Sunday attacks around 10 am while he was in Singapore. "I could
not imagine that the attack had been carried out by an international
terror group. Around noon of the same day I was shown a letter
circulated on social media which had been written by a DIG. When I saw
that letter I realised that our security forces knew of the attack
beforehand. Thereafter, I decided to appoint a Presidential Commission
to find out who is responsible for the security lapse. Before leaving
Singapore I contacted the Secretary to the President and instructed him
to appoint an investigating body. It was appointed before the NSC
meeting on April 22. I gave instructions from Singapore to the Prime
Minister and the heads of national security on how to face the
situation. We have taken all necessary measures during the last ten days
to mitigate the damage and to prevent the recurrence of similar
incidents," the President said.
He noted that on April 24, he had met 53 members of
the Colombo-based diplomatic corps on the situation and the action taken
by the government. "I met with police top brass on April 24 where I
instructed them on how to proceed with their investigations.
According to intelligence reports the number of these
extremists is less than 150. We must have faith on our security forces
and the intelligence operatives. I have instructed them to make use of
the provisions of the Emergency regulations.
I have given them all the power to carry out their
operations. As the Army Commander said, they had asked for a push
bicycle but I gave them a motorcycle," President Sirisena said.
He said that at the time he took over the police under
his purview, it was in disarray. "This disaster took place after four
months since I took over the police. During the last three years the
police had been deprived of their powers and some police stations could
not even carry out raids on moonshine dens as they did not have the
facilities and power.
There were 30 police stations without a single vehicle
for their duties.
I gave a facelift to the police and ensured that they
have all the facilities to carry out their duties efficiently."
The President called upon the people not to harbour
animosity and not to be afraid. "We have already nabbed 99 percent of
terrorists involved in the Easter Sunday carnage. Within three more days
we will arrest the rest of them," he assured.