The Government awaits the report of the CID inquiry into the alleged plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to decide on future actions, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

The Premier was responding to a question by Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena in Parliament yesterday.

Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara assured Parliament of an impartial and transparent inquiry into the alleged conspiracy while also assuring the security of the President and the former Defence Secretary.

The JO MPs agitated in the House demanding the Government to interdict DIG Nalaka de Silva till the probes were over. They also accused that IGP Pujith Jayasundera was working hand in glove with DIG de Silva.

The Prime Minister also said that if former Defence Secretary Rajapaksa thinks that there is a threat to his life he can request for more security, adding that the Government is ready to act on such a request. “Given the intra-party crises that he is faced with, of which even we are aware, perhaps he may be feeling perturbed,” Wickremesinghe said.

“I thank you for the interest shown on the President’s security. However, who among you showed any concern when his security was removed when he came out as the Common Candidate? Did any of you speak of his security then?” the PM asked from the JO MPs also urging them not to make political mileage over the issue.

The PM replying to the concerns said any flaws on the part of the IGP, if true, would come out from within the Police during the investigation. “As soon as I returned to the country, I ordered the IGP to hold an immediate inquiry into the allegation. The President, Police Commission and the IGP have also given the same order. Now, let the inquiry be carried out,” said the PM.

The PM told the House that the subject minister and he refrain from divulging all the information in their possession that might affect the investigation. “We will take steps as of the evidence we receive,” he said.

Minister Madduma Bandara said the Police have requested for the unedited voice and video clips of the press conference conducted by Namal Kumarage in Kandy from media organisations that covered it, adding that those were yet to be received. He said the mobile phone of Kumarage has been taken into the CID custody.

He said it is upto the Police Commission to take disciplinary action if needed against DIG de Silva once the preliminary investigations were completed. Responding to a demand by the JO to impound DIG de Silva’s passport to prevent him going overseas, the minister said the relevant authorities have been given the necessary instructions in that regard.

“The Police and security forces provide adequate security to the President, who is also the first citizen of the country. Even though, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was not a Sri Lankan citizen we undertake to provide adequate security to him too,” he added.

Law and Order Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara said the security of Namal Kumarage had also been taken care of.

JO MP Dullas Allahapperuma charged that the IGP was implicated in the alleged conspiracy. JO MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara alleged that the IGP had been seen at the Kelaniya temple taking part in a ‘Bodhi pooja’ with DIG de Silva.

Provincial Councils and Local Government Deputy Minister Sriyani Wijewickrama said they were not satisfied with the IGP’s actions with regard to the incident and demanded that he be sacked and carry out the investigations under a new IGP. She also demanded to suspend DIG Nalaka de Silva and to arrest him immediately.

MP Dinesh Gunawardena raising a question under the Standing Order 27 (2) said, “The entire country and the international community are shocked by the recent revelation of the assassination plot. There is a serious allegation against a DIG of planning to get the support of the underworld to kill the President and the former defence secretary. Security authorities are slow to conduct investigations into this. This issue could lead to anarchy in the country.”

Leader of the House and Minister Lakshman Kiriella pointed out that MP Gunawardena’s statement can stand in the way of the investigations. “This is an attempt to interfere in investigations. I am a lawyer. I understand the damage this statement can do,” he added.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed the House that he summoned the IGP on Monday to discuss the matter. “As soon as I got to know about this, I phoned the IGP and the Police Commission. I too have a responsibility to ensure the security and well-being of all. However, do not use this matter to get media attention,” he told the JO MPs.


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