Colombo, April 24 (newsin.asia): Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena announced on Tuesday that he would hold an All Party Conference (APC) inviting parties represented in parliament and outside to discuss proposals to ensure national reconciliation and communal harmony.
In a TV address he said that 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,” Sirisena said.
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 urged people and all political parties to extend the fullest cooperation setting aside differences to these efforts for the sake of the future generation.
President Sirisena expressed confidence that 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.
Intelligence Available Since 2017
The President disclosed that since 2017, there had been intelligence about the emergence of terrorist groups and the fact that some of them had been 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 technological capabilities to fight terrorism have assured Sri Lanka that they would provide assistance.
Not Informed of Intelligence Report
President Sirisena said that he would be truthful and acknowledged that there were lapses on the part of the defense authorities.
‘Although there was an 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”.
Laws Need To Be Tweaked
Although there were intelligence reports about possible terrorist cells, no legal action could be taken with normal laws without sufficient evidence the President.
The armed forces have now been emergency powers since Monday 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 said.
Powers Will Not Be Used
The President assured that the emergency powers will not be misused.
“We will not allow the limited emergency regulations gazette issued last night (Monday night) to be used against ordinary people. 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 the responsibility for that,” he said.