SJB MP casts doubts on Cabinet Sub-Committee
By Buddhika Samaraweera
The Cabinet Sub Committee, appointed by the President, to study the final report and recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the Easter Sunday bombings in 2019, is not transparent and has no power or ability to investigate the PCoI report or its recommendations, claimed SJB MP Dr. Kavinda Jayawardena.
Also, former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and other officials concerned have neglected their responsibilities by not taking action to prevent the Easter Sunday bombings, while the current Defence Secretary, IGP and other officials have neglected their responsibilities by not properly investigating the suspects involved, he further said.
Speaking at a Media briefing at Opposition Leader’s Office in Colombo yesterday (22), Dr. Jayawardena said there is a reasonable suspicion that the Government is trying to cover up certain facts related to the bombings by appointing a committee comprising only those representing the incumbent administration. He emphasised that Parliament has the power to discuss the report and therefore the President should submit the report to Parliament as soon as possible instead of appointing committees.
He also said that although the Government had, in the recent past, stated that it would hand over the report of the PCoI to the Attorney General (AG) as soon as it was received, it had not yet been handed over to the latter and that the AG had even sent back reports submitted by the Police with regard to the investigations into the terror attacks, saying they are not complete reports.
“Instead of arresting the suspects, we were able to see the release of suspects in the recent past. For example, ten suspects who worked at the copper factory in Wellampitiya were recently released. However, cases have been filed in a Court in California, USA against three suspects who are currently in remand custody. But as a country we should be ashamed that no case has been filed against them in Sri Lanka so far,” he said.
He further queried, "During the last Government, a Parliamentary Select Committee was appointed to investigate the Easter Sunday bombings. Although I was nominated as a member, I resigned because we did not have the expertise to investigate such a matter. What do the members of the committee appointed by President have to investigate such a matter?”