Rathana Thera asks for Special Presidential Probe Commission

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MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera has urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to appoint a Special Presidential Commission to investigate the 9 May riots and attacks on anti-Government protesters at Galle Face.

The Thera, who represents the nine independent parties, has written to the President stating that the commission should be able to complete its work in three months.

He addressed the Media on behalf of the nine Communist parties at the Communist Party Headquarters yesterday (19).

He emphasised that the commission should reveal who tried to stop when then-Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa tried to resign and who stands to benefit from keeping the latter in power.

The Thera also urged the President to reveal how much money was spent on the buses, how much alcohol was given to the goons, what the goal was in bringing innocent people into Temple Trees; whether they knew they were being brought to fight peaceful protesters and whether they had planned the attacks ahead of time.

He also said that revealing this is a unique aspect of Sri Lankan politics and that the commission should reveal all of the questions he has raised, along with all the evidence. He also noted that the former Prime Minister’s resignation was the result of these peaceful protesters.

He also said that the commission should identify the mastermind behind the 9 May unrest. He questioned whether pre-planned torching and the death of MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala was the answer to the situation and requested the President to form a commission to determine who was responsible.

Noting that conflicts and reactions reflect society, he said the parities hope this commission will change the country’s situation and warned that the country will be full of robbers and people quarrelling over food.

Meanwhile, General Secretary of the Communist Party Dr. G. Weerasinghe said, that while some define the attacks as spontaneous, he suspects that they were organised.

He also said, that the torching and misbehaviour of a certain group of people appeared to follow a similar structure, indicating that it was a planned event.

Independent MPs, with the exception of the SLFP and Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya, requested the formation of a special Presidential Commission in a letter to the President.

Even though some ministers were scheduled to attend the conference, including Pivithiuru Hela Urumaya Leader Udaya Gammanpila, they were unable to do so due to the unfavourable situation surrounding Parliament.

By Kanchana Kolagolla