Opposition claims PSC Easter Attacks Report ‘not acceptable’ | Daily News


Hakeem: ‘Opposition members too linked to Zahran’

Opposition claims PSC Easter Attacks Report ‘not acceptable’

The Opposition told Parliament yesterday that the House could not accept the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Easter Sunday terror attacks as one of the PSC members, Minister Rauff Hakeem had “direct links” with Zahran Hashim, the mastermind of April 21 terror attacks.MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena expressed opposition’s objection to the PSC report on the grounds of conflict of interests at the time PSC member Dr.Jayampathi Wickremaratne was ready to present the PSC report to the House.

The presiding member at the time was Deputy Speaker Ananada Kumarasiri was also the Chairman of the PSC. The minister facing allegations of maintaining links with Zahran, Minister Hakeem was also present in the chamber at the time.

MP Gunawardena said, “Minister Hakeem has accepted in public that he had links with Zahran Hashim. His conscience should be telling him that the report from a committee investigating the Easter Sunday terror attacks of which he is a member, would not be impartial. He should have informed the rest of the PSC members and the Speaker when he was nominated to the PSC. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith too had repeatedly stated that this report could not be accepted. How could anyone expect the House to accept a report of this nature when it is blemished by the conflict of interests of its members with those responsible for the crime?”

He said that the impartiality of the House is under question. “Parliament is now under a cloud since we are told to accept this report. How could the committee present this report to Parliament when one of its members had accepted in public that he had links with Zahran who led the terror attacks? This report should not be permitted to be presented in the House.”

House Leader Minister Lakshman Kiriella joining in said, “The opposition did not oppose Minister Hakeem’s appointment when the names of the PSC members were announced on May 23.”

Minister Hakeem said the Joint Opposition wanted to achieve political objectives by linking his name with Zahran Hashim. “I did not know of Zahran’s connections to terrorist activities at the time I met him. I would expose the names of those in the Opposition who met Zahran. I would produce photographic evidence which indicates who maintained links with him,” he said.

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