President pooh-poohs Opposition’s War Heroes’ bogey | Daily News

President pooh-poohs Opposition’s War Heroes’ bogey

The Office of Missing Persons is not aimed to make any of our War Heroes scape goats in any way as claimed by certain detractors, President Maithripala Sirisena said in a special interview telecast over television channels on Saturday.

The President said there were many reports about disappearances in the recent past.

A large number of journalists and ordinary persons went missing with the white van culture. This Office can look into all these incidents. This Office will not target our War Heroes in any way, he said.

President Sirisena said he would request those opposing the setting up of this office to come for a discussion with him to explain the true facts about it.

The President said the Bill on the Office of Missing Persons was tabled in Parliament on August 11 after discussions by him and the Prime Minister and the two main parties and making several important amendments.

He said when it was taken up for debate in Parliament, a group of Parliamentarian were seen shouting slogans seated in the Well of the House.

People should understand a problem in its entirety from beginning to end. Those who are shouting were doing so aimlessly without knowing the beginning or end, President Sirisena said.

He said he would request those crying hoarse about this issue to come and sit with him over a discussion about this matter.

The President said he would earnestly request everyone to desist from inciting the Sinhala Buddhists in this country by giving a wrong interpretation about this Bill to the Maha Sangha.

President Sirisena said he would categorically state that all of them in the government loved this country dearly. The President said during the previous regime too, there was a suggestion to create an office of this nature.

“But it did not materialise due to various problems. The crux of the matter is that when you confront a problem, it needed to be resolved. This office can act even beyond the 1988 and 1989 period. This office had no judicial powers what so ever, he said.

A lot of members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and the Civil Security Department had gone missing in the recent past. They would have been killed, abducted or hidden by the LTTE. Under this Act, this office will be empowered to look into them too rather than civilians in the North gone missing under the LTTE, the President said.

President Sirisena said journalist Ekneligoda’s case was also a disappearance which can be counted as a missing person.

“Was anyone opposed to investigations made into his disappearance through the Office on Missing Persons. Then their was the Lasantha Wickramatunge murder. There were local and international criticisms about these disappearances and killings, calling for investigations into them. People exerted pressure on the previous regime calling for investigations by staging satyagraha and other protest campaigns,” he said.

A whole list of names of persons either missing or killed could be given. When there was no solution for this issue from the government, people went to the international arena and to the UNHRC.

These issues became the subject of UNHCR resolutions against Sri Lanka.

President Sirisena said before they came to power they pledged through their election manifesto to probe not only corruption and fraud but also to conduct independent investigations into disappearances and killing as well.

Accordingly, investigations were launched after they assumed power. Family members or guardians of people who were killed or went missing submitted complaints to the respective institutions. Although there were ongoing investigations, they had stalled halfway.

“As a new government they directed the respective institutions, CID and Police to start investigations. So when investigation are conducted, people are taken in for questioning on suspicion. The government did not exert any pressure on these investigations. The Bribery commission is an independent commission. The CID and Police should be allowed to act independently. The Independent Commissions appointed throught the 19th amendment to the constitution could be allowed to act independently, he said.

President Sirisena said the former President passed the 18th amendment to the Contrition and appointed all Judges including the Chief Justice as he pleased.

He appointed all commissions and the Attorney General and the IGP. Telephone calls given from the President’s House could change even court decisions then, he said. “But when any institution probed any crime or grave issue according to the Constitution it did so independently without any pressure from any quarter. So when an investigation was made today there was no consideration as to one’s position or status. Even a public servant, businessman or member of the armed forces or police would not enjoy a privileged position under the terms of the law.

“So even if a member of the armed forces is found guilty through investigations, the whole Army, Navy or the Air Force would be saved from guilty and the prestige and good name of the entire forces would be protected and upheld since the bad eggs would get wearied out.”


There are 6 Comments

You were part of the white van culture. Don't try to be Saint now.

It's not the JOB doesn't know the beginning and end of the OMP bill. They r fully aware. They r the sponsors of the white van culture as well as the whereabouts of the missing. What they want is to conceal the identity of those responsible. The Government should carry on regardless.

He cannot be trusted he back stabbed so how can you trust what he says

What about disappearances during Premadasa's time?, Ranil's time?.

yes, it can be too investigated... please go and give evidence with name Ect Ect....we can't understand your mind set..negative minded...

Instead of wasting time in finding the missing persons, we can divert the same energy and effort towards reconciliations, That will be much better, because most of the missing persons will be either illegal migrants in some European countries, while others will be on unemployment dole-out in the Western Countries. After all the deads are resting in peace and while the living missing persons are too resting in peace, saving euros and dollars. ULTIMATELY, THERE SRE NO MISSING PERSONS

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