“Organised thugs” behind recent violence - Navin | Daily News

“Organised thugs” behind recent violence - Navin

The recent acts of communal violence were instigated by “organised thugs” against whom substantial evidence is available, Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake said yesterday.

Accordingly, strict action will be taken against these perpetrators irrespective of their political affiliations, Minister Dissanayake further said. If anyone from the United National Party is involved in these acts of communal violence, they should be taken into custody, Minister Dissanayaka observed.

Minister Dissanayake made these observations at a press brief held at Temple Trees yesterday.

“These are organized thugs that have been brought from other areas into these affected areas. We have evidence of that. We can prove it. We will definitely be taking action against them. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has given very strict orders to the Police on carrying out the investigations.

He has also told the Police that a under no circumstances can any politician interfere in these investigations. If anybody from our party is found to be involved, they will also be taken into custody,” Dissanayake said.

Minister Dissanayake also pointed out that these islotaed incidents which occurred three weeks after the Easter Sunday terror attacks were not emotional reactions to the incident. Contrary to that, Dissanayake pointed out that these violent acts have negatively impacted on the stability of the country are a political driven agenda.

“Why is it that after three weeks, these sporadic isolated incidents of communal violence are happening in the country? It is because certain people wanted the whole system to collapse. We will come out with all the proof. Good and decent people of this country did not react with emotion, with racism or communalism, because of the April 21 attacks. So after three weeks these thugs organized it in such a way that they went into towns with people who were armed with sticks and stones, to attack Muslim businesses. Therefore, the government reacted immediately. May 12, 13 and 14 were crucial days and we ensure that people who are behind these violent acts were arrested,” Dissanayake pointed out.

Asked on who had organized the said communal violence, Minister Dissanayake named Amith Weerasinghe, Dan Priyasad and Namal Kumara, who are in Police custody at present. “There are investigations going on. There are very clear patterns, as in past incidents, that people have been brought from other areas for the attacks.” he also said.

Asked if the Security Forces did not react immediately to the violent incidents targeting the Muslim community, Minister Dissanayake denied the allegation. He pointed out that all the leaders of such violent groups have been taken into custody within 24 hours.

Minister Dissanayake also expressed his confidence in the Sri Lanka Police and Security Forces to be highly efficient in curbing terrorism and organized communal attacks in the country.

“Under the current IGP we are fully confident that proper action will be taken. I had problems with the previous IGP. I was one person who was demanding his removal. Under the current IGP, I will put my career on line and say that he will take the necessary actions to curtail this situation. We also have the highest respect for the Army Commander in this respect.” he said.

Speaking on the Easter Sunday terror attack, Minister Dissanayake extended his condolences to the victims of the attack and apologized to the public for the breach of public security. “Despite the breach, the government together with the Security Forces acted immediately to contain the situation,” Dissanayake observed.

“We can understand the sentiments and sadness of the tragedy that happened in the country. We are also human beings although we are politicians. We have been criticized, ridiculed everywhere. I have seen pictures on Facebook and other social media platforms, castigating the entire political system. We can understand the pain and the sentiments. The President and the Prime Minister have acknowledged that there were faults in the system. The Prime Minister went to the extent of apologizing. The apology does not bring back the lives of the people who died in this tragedy. We as a government have taken every responsible measure soon after the April 21 terrorist attacks to take necessary strict measures to curtail the situation. Because of that, we have had no more security breaches. In fact, because the government moved very quickly, I think we were able to stop at least two or three more explosions. I am not saying that it was all political leadership, but certainly the Security Forces acted in tandem, in coordination and they had superb team work to break up this network. I can responsibly say that this particular network of Zaharan has been broken up,” Dissanayake said.

“We are taking all the necessary precautions and measures to ensure that Islamic jihadist terrorism never comes to our country,” Dissanayake further said. “Security has been strengthened, the breaches has been secured, despite various political differences,” he added.


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