Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has set the record straight with regard to the issues such as certain political elements coming hard on the Leader of the Opposition, R. Sampanthan, saying that he had forcibly entered an Army camp in Kilinochchi recently, as well as on taking some of the rehabilitated former senior LTTE cadres into custody in recent weeks.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Chief Guest at the 20th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum (SLMMF) on Saturday (30). The Prime Minister also emphasized on the need of media institutions playing a responsible role towards safeguarding the unity and integrity of the country, without rousing racial disharmony.
The address made by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe at the SLMMF event was timely and it has highlighted the Prime Minister’s firm stance towards uprooting the communal elements which attempt to disrupt the efforts taken by the present Government to strengthen peace and reconciliation in the country.
A disturbing situation emerged in the North and the East following the recent arrests of some of the rehabilitated former senior LTTE cadres in the two Provinces. Since arrests, abductions and disappearances had been the order of the day prior to the formation of the new Government led by President Mithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last year, the recent arrests of the former LTTE cadres who were integrated with the society after rehabilitation had led to fear psychosis among the innocent civilians and the families of the cadres who were taken into custody.
The hard earned peace and the overall security of the country cannot be challenged at any cost. So following the recovery of a suicide jacket a month ago in Chavakachcheri in the Northern Province at the house of a former LTTE cadre, the Government was compelled to evaluate the present state of the security situation over the recovery of the lethal item.
The Prime Minister has stated that to ascertain whether the former cadres have any connection with the recovery made in the North, some of them were taken into custody and now they have been detained not under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) but under the general law of the country.
Young men and women in thousands disappeared due to abductions in the past. The families of the disappeared persons are still in search of their beloved ones in the North and the East.
So, unlike the leaders in the previous regime who preferred to keep quiet over the disappearances, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe clearly stated the true situation on taking the former rehabilitated LTTE cadres into custody.
At his SLMMF address the Prime Minister also raised a question whether anyone had the guts to ask about the disappearance of journalist Pradeep Ekneligoda during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.
Apart from the disappearance of journalist Ekneligoda, the mysteries over the deaths of several Tamil journalists including D. Sivaram still remain unresolved.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe pointing out at a privately owned media institution in Colombo, its highly irresponsible manner of reporting on sensitive issues had even spoken on the matter of the Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan visiting an area in Kilinochchi where there was military presence.
The Prime Minister said that he had even asked the Leader of the Opposition whether he had any idea of joining the Army by visiting an Army Camp in Kilinochchi. The Prime Minister also said jokingly he had even told Sampanthan that if he was willing to join the Army he could be made a Colonel.
According to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition had responded saying that he didn’t have any intention of joining the Army but he was only particular about the lands of the civilians which are in the possession of the Army in Kilinochchi.
The Prime Minister, in full of respect for the Leader of the Opposition, had mentioned that Sampanthan has the freedom to travel to any part of the country and stated that he had not visited any camp forcibly.
As several media institutions were blowing up the issues of the arrests of the former LTTE cadres and was stating Sampanthan going into an Army camp in an irresponsible manner, the Prime Minister had done his part in a highly responsible manner setting the record straight clearly highlighting the good intentions of the new Government.