Responding to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had told him that the government should focus on the country’s security following the recent detection of hidden arms and ammunition, and the comments made by former minister G. L. Peiris, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that Mr. Rajapaksa should make a statement in parliament and Professor Peiris should divulge to the police all of the information he had on the subject.
Speaking at a function in Colombo, Mr. Wickremesinghe said Mr. Rajapaksa should make a statement in the House so that they could discuss it and take measures to safeguard the country. “We can discuss the incident in parliament and take suitable steps if he makes a statement,” he said.
“I doubted whether this function would take place today when I read the morning papers. I wondered whether there would be WTC style attack here. Professor G L Peiris has spoken of such a thing .
I inquired from the police and they said there was no such threat,” he said.
He said Mr. Rajapaksa had phoned and told him to investigate the matter. He said he had informed President Maithripala Sirisena of it and discussed it with Minister Sagala Ratnayake. He said it was decided to investigate it. He said he would make a statement in parliament next week . He said such hauls were a common occurrence after a war.
“You still come across arms and ammunition hidden during the Second World War. Some ammunition and love letters written by an American soldier to his fiancé were found in a house in the UK recently” he said.
He said such incidents had taken place in Sri Lanka as well, and sometimes the government was tipped off by the Tamils themselves.
He said there may be attempts to sabotage the economic development plans of the government, and the LTTE and other anti government groups could be involved in such attempts.
“Perhaps both are doing it together,” he said. He said the government analyst had been asked to help in the investigation. “Terrorism should not be allowed to re-emerge but steps should be taken to stop communalism,” he said. (Yohan Perera)
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