Patali calls information centre for relatives | Daily News
Jihadi suspects in custody

Patali calls information centre for relatives

An ombudsman or an information centre should be made available for the relatives of the persons who were taken into custody over jihadist terrorist activities following the Easter Sunday terror attacks, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday.

Minister Ranawaka said there have been around 2,500 arrests and the relatives of those arrested have the right to receive information on them.

“A serious issue has arisen with regard to the persons who were arrested in connection with the April 21 terror attacks. According to the reports, there have been around 2,500 arrests. The relatives of these people have a right to get information on them. The unfavourable result after a crisis is when there is no information on individuals who are arrested in that connection. Thus, it is important to appoint an ombudsman or establish an information centre to provide such information,” he said.

Minister Ranawaka was speaking at the Maha Sangha conference held at BMICH yesterday evening.

Minister Ranawaka also proposed a special operations unit to study, analyse and monitor jihadist terrorism in the country. He said there were similar special operations units when fighting the JVP insurgency and the LTTE.

The Minister said Parliament is at present drafting important laws under 11 subject areas which are vital for the security of the country and to eradicate jihadist terrorism from Sri Lanka. “These subject areas include hate speech, religious violence, the education system, Sharia law, dress code and national identity, a common law for religious institutions, laws on immigration and migration, international funding to spread extremism, establishment of a ministry to look into religious affairs and cyber security. I would like to request the Maha Sangha and other religious leaders to participate in the drafting of these laws and regulations. It will assist us in getting rid of suspicion, fear and animosity between communities.” Minister Ranawaka also said there are four sections in the National Thawheed Jammath and there are about 50,000 persons who sympathise with these four sections, out of the 2.5 million Muslims in the country. “This is a fact we cannot ignore and should be properly dealt with,” he added.

The Minister also highlighted the importance of a strong economy in the war against terrorism. “We will only be able to control this situation with a strong economy and a strong government. So it is important for us to practise scientific governance along with a solid economic plan,” he said. 


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