Army hands over terror suspect known to Rishad to TID TNA MP endorses NCM against ACMC leader
Posted on May 19th, 2019

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

May 19, 2019, 10:04 pm 

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A person, whose arrest in connection with the Easter Sunday bombings prompted Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen to make inquiries about him from Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake, has been handed over to the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID).

Army headquarters yesterday confirmed the handing over of the suspect taken in by troops to the TID.

In the wake of Lt. Gen. Senanayake’s revelation regarding Minister Bathiudeen getting in touch with him over the arrest of the suspect, the Joint Opposition cited it in the NC against Bathiudeen, handed over to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Friday (17).

Vanni District MP Bathiudeen leads the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC),

a constituent of the incumbent UNP-led administration.

Pivithuru Hela Urumaya leader and attorney-at-law Udaya Gammanpila, yesterday, told The Island that the motion had been included in the Order Paper though a section of the social media propagated it had been rejected. Responding to another query, Gammanpila said that they would seek a two-day debate on the motion. The lawmaker said: “A decision can be made tomorrow when party leaders meet at 3 pm. We are confident a decision can be reached on an early date.”

The ACMC parliamentary group comprises five members.

Gammanpila said that of those politicians who had been accused of being involved with the perpetrators of the Easter Sunday bombings, the most serious accusations were directed at Bathiudeen. No less a person than Lt. Gen. Senanayake had revealed that the ACMC leader contacted him over the arrest of a suspect, MP Gammanpila said.

Asked whether the JO was canvassing for support among political parties represented in parliament, MP Gammanpila said the government owed an explanation as to why Minister Bathiudeen even had not been questioned so far though the police had recorded statements from lawmakers, Piyal Nishantha de Silva and Dayasiri Jayasekera, in respect of an erroneous statement and for being present in Wayamba during recent violence, respectively.

MP Gammanpila said that among those who had endorsed the NCM were Tamil National Alliance (TNA) National List MP S. Viyalanderan from Batticaloa. He said that the TNA stand in respect of the NCM would be of pivotal importance as a substantial number of Tamil Catholics perished in suicide bombings at St. Anthony’s church, Kochchikade, Kotahena and Zion Church in Batticaloa. The MP pointed out that Tamil mass was in progress in St. Anthony’s church, Kochchikade, Colombo when the suicide bomber struck.

The TNA parliamentary group comprises 15 including two National List members.

Viyalanderan switched his allegiance to Sirisena-Rajapaksa combine in the wake of Oct 2018 constitutional coup.

MP Gammanpila said the parish priest of St. Theresa’s church, Kilinochchi, had claimed that his church, too, was to be attacked on April 2.

In addition to the TNA MP, two UNP MPs, Ven Atureliye Rathana (National List) and Ananda Aluthgamage, too, endorsed the NCM. Kandy District lawmaker Aluthgamage switched his allegiance to the Sirisena-Rajapaksa combine last Oct whereas Ven. Rathana of the JHU deserted the party much earlier.

Although, SLFP leader Sirisena, is yet to give his consent, several MPs loyal to him have signed the NCM. Among them are S.B. Dissanayake, Tilanga Sumathipala and Dilan Perera.

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