President gives firm assurance of curtailing terrorism and bring
back normalcy swiftly
[April 24 2019]
Immediate changes in high
security positions as there was
negligence in carrying out
Intellectual Round Table Discussions on follow up actions
President Maithripala Sirisena assured the nation that
he would take every required step to curb terrorism in Sri Lanka, which
has raised its ugly head on Easter Sunday and restore normalcy swiftly.
He urges the people and all the political parties to extend fullest
cooperation setting aside differences to these efforts for the sake of
the future generation.
Addressing the nation today (April 23), he expressed
the grief, shock and deep dismay over the loss of lives in these
ruthless acts of terrorism. He stressed the imperative need for the
support and unity of everybody in this national endeavour.
President Sirisena expressed confidence that the
terrorism can be curbed very soon as the law enforcement agencies have
taken swift measures to identify and arrest the criminals responsible
for acts of terrorism and aiding and abetting such acts. He thanked the
law enforcements personnel for the effective steps taken to arrest the
culprits. He expressed condolence over the death of three police
officers while carrying out investigations aftermath of the terror
The President disclosed that since 2017, there were
intelligence information about emergence of terrorist groups and the
fact that some of them receiving training in foreign countries. Our
security services kept a close vigilance on these groups, he said.
He revealed that already seven or eight countries with
experience, intelligence skills and high technology capabilities to
fight terrorism have assured Sri Lanka that they would provide
President Sirisena said that he would be truthful and
acknowledged that there were lapses on the part of defence authorities.
He said, although there was and intelligence report about these attacks,
he was not informed about them. The President said he would enact
changes in the security services high posts very soon.
He said that although there were intelligence reports
about possible terrorist cells, no legal action could be taken with
normal laws without sufficient evidence. He pointed out Sri Lankan
intelligence experiences would be useful to carry out anti-terrorism
measures, now that the armed forces could be use emergency powers
enacted last night. I am confident that with such reorganizations of
security sector and with the assistance of foreign expertise, the threat
of terrorism could curbed soon, he emphasized.
We will not allow the limited emergency regulations
gazette last night to be used against the ordinary people and they will
be used only against terror suspects, he said. The President assured
that new laws would not be a hindrance to freedom of expression, lawful
protests or demonstrations, democratic rights, individual freedom and
media freedom. I take that responsibility for that,
President Sirisena announced that he would hold an All
Party Conference inviting the parties represented in Parliament and
outside to discuss the proposals to ensure national reconciliation and
communal harmony. He will also have round table discussions with
religious leaders and intellectuals in this regard. This is the time to
stop pointing fingers at each other and to set aside political
differences and to take steps to ensure that such barbaric terrorist
acts would not recur, he said.