by Zacki Jabbar
The UNP, while pledging support to the Rajapaksa government’s fresh investigations into the Easter Sunday bomb explosions at three churches and three luxury hotels on April 21 last year, says that former President Maithripala Sirisena, who was also the then Defence Minister, is answerable for ignoring intelligence warnings and leaving for Singapore on a holiday.
Accusing Sirisena of shirking his duty, with the objective of destabilising the then Ranil Wickremesinghe government and the country in the run- up to the last presidential election, UNP MP Range Bandara told a news conference in Colombo late last week, that the Rajapaksa government, if seriously interested in ensuring justice for victims of the Easter Sunday blasts triggered by the Zaharan Faction of the National Thowheed Jamath, should immediately arrest Sirisena, who has no presidential immunity post 19th Amendment to the Constitution, and produce him in Courts.
The explosions left 259 people dead and around 500 injured.
Parliamentarian Bandara said that Sirisena had left for Singapore without acting on intelligence warnings of the impending bomb blasts he had received and holidayed there for many days, despite the death and destruction caused being brought to his notice. There were many flights available from Singapore to Colombo with travel time of less than four hours.
“This sort of behaviour is unbecoming of a Head of State and Defence Minister, who conspired to destabilise the country by also preventing the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene and IGP Pujith Jayasundara from attending National Security Council meetings”, Bandara asserted.
He said that the UNP was willing to cooperate with the ongoing freshly appointed Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Easter explosions, but requested the government not to make it a political circus and cover up for Sirisena, who was now in its camp.