Probe into 2019 Easter attacks : SL to seek UK assistance

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Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (18) said he would be requesting the assistance of the UK Government and their intelligence services due to incomplete nature of the investigations so far conducted into 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks.

Making a special statement, Wickremesinghe pointed out the absence of a proper Easter Sunday investigation has meant that the issue has still not been fully resolved.

The Acting President explained that when he took over as Prime Minister on 13 May, the economy had collapsed, with power cuts lasting five hours a day. He said, in the two months since then, the power cuts had been reduced to three hours a day, fertiliser has been provided to the farmers and the gas shortage in the country has been solved.

Wickremesinghe said, as he mentioned before, that July would be a difficult period for the supply of fuel, however, diesel stocks have been secured and are being distributed from the 21 July and petrol will also be distributed.

He also explained that relief was being provided to the citizens of the country who are struggling with the economic crisis. He stated that the loans taken by paddy farmers, who have cultivated fields of less than two acres have been cancelled. He said, due to the drop in the world fuel prices, the fuel prices in the country have also been reduced.

While highlighting the steps taken so far, the Acting President further explained that negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were nearing conclusion, and discussions for assistance with foreign countries was also progressing.

He went on to explain that the current political crisis in the country is due to the Executive Presidency, and stated that the 19th Amendment would be re-introduced which would address many of the concerns of the public.

He added,“There were elements within society who were attempting to disrupt the peace in the country. These elements would be prohibited from disrupting the country’s progress. The peaceful protesters who had legitimate concerns would be engaged by the Government and solutions would be found for them.”

Wickremesinghe called upon the political parties in the country to put aside their differences and not allow the country to suffer over differences over an individual. He urged them to come together and form an All-Party Government which would allow the country to recover from the economic crisis.

(AK)