Easter Sunday carnage President puts the blame on the Ranil Wickremesinghe government for failure.
• Attempts to shield President Sirisena saying presidential powers were removed through the 19th amendment
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared on Saturday that he has not “Failed” but yearning to earn a double doctorate.
The President was addressing the “Gama Samga Pilisandarak”( a dialogue with the rural folk) at Giribawa Weragala.
“Some people say I have failed I have not failed I have worked selflessly for the country and defended the same during the separatist war as a soldier for twenty long years.
Thereafter I worked as the Defence Secretary of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and had been able to accomplish mu duties by finishing the thirty-year separatist war. That is more than enough for me to obtain an honours degree as the President I am earning bonus points now and yearning for a double doctorate” .the President said
The President further said that the CoI report on the Easter Sunday carnage was consequent to a Presidential Commission of Inquiry.
I saw some political persons are trying to take some advantage out of this by apportioning the blame on us.
However, this incident took place on April 21st 2019 we were not in power at that stage. I was not the President and we never had a government then. The commission was appointed by the former President on the 21st of September. The commission has clearly stated on numerous occasions throughout its report, as to who should take the responsibility for the attack. Not only President Sirisena and the Prime Minister the entire government should take responsibility. The people who were part and parcel of that government are speaking as if they were not in the ruling party at that stage. This is not a political issue this is a national issue, “I know particularly that the Cardinal is not only sad but perturbed especially because Catholic churches had been attacked therefore the Cardinal has a right to speak on the matter.”
However, the ministers who were in power when the attack took place are saying various things about what they would do if they come back to power. The President said “I saw somebody saying that the perpetrators would be given the death penalty. I don’t understand how a government could pass a death sentence on anybody. We are not ready to pass the death sentence on anybody by influencing the judiciary. We will file suitable action against them in Courts then the Courts will take an appropriate decision the government cannot say to hang them to death, it happened last time but we are not doing that”.
Addressing the Venerable Monks who were present the President emphasised that the incident took place since there was no proper security plan in place as it was during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.
“On page 306 of the report, it is clearly stated that they could not fathom why Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and the government was unable or failed to take the proper action”.
There are hundreds of IS supporters in Sri Lanka and it is spreading in South Asia like a wildfire and hence we request the government to take appropriate action and introduce a legislative framework to combat and put an end to religious hatred the commission the President said quoting the CoI report.
Unfortunately, Prime minster Wickremesinghe and the government failed to take the necessary steps to restrain them. This took place due to the inaction of the previous government.
Some people are trying to put the blame squarely on the former President, but you all know that by introducing the 19th amendment to the constitution the government removed the presidential powers. Said the President
“The report of CoI harps on the inaction of the previous regime nevertheless we would not allow Tamil extremism and the separatist movement and the Islam religious extremism to raise their heads. When we read this report it is clear who is responsible for the unfortunate incident, we have to punish those responsible since we are in power and we would do that”.
“We never came to power exploiting the Easter Sunday incidents, we never used it as a political weapon to win back power during my election campaign I never made it a point to take undue advantage to win the elections by using the Easter Sunday carnage” the President added.