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Hirunika calls on President to come before PSC

United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian Hirunika Premachandra yesterday called on President Maithripala Sirisena to come before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to look into the Easter Sunday attacks.

Addressing media at Temple Trees, Premachandra pointed out that the most important thing for the families that lost their loved ones in the 21 April attacks is to have closure. She said this could only be provided if the right parties were held accountable.

“We have tried to support the hundreds of families that lost their loved ones. We have paid them compensation and we have repaired the churches; but no matter what we do, they feel that loss. The only way they can assuage at least some part of their sorrow is to know what really happened. Any of us, if we lost our loved ones, would want to know what happened. This is why the President must come before the PSC and disclose his actions,” she said.

Premachandra also expressed confidence that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would go before the PSC when he was given a date. Premachandra was confident that the PSC sessions would get to the bottom of circumstances that led to the Easter Sunday attacks that killed over 250 people.

“The intelligence officials, former Defence Secretary and IGP as well as politicians have already come before the PSC and participated in this important process. Even the Prime Minister, when he is given a date to appear, will come before the PSC. I am confident of this. We saw from Court proceedings on Tuesday that Colombo Chief Magistrate had said there is insufficient evidence to show criminal negligence on the part of the IGP and former Defence Ministry Secretary. The President as the Minister of Defence must answer to the public and he can only do so by appearing before the PSC,” she added.

Recalling her experience in fighting for justice for her father, Premachandra emphasised on the importance of the Government restoring the independence of the Judiciary, which she said was displayed numerous times over the last four years. She highlighted the constitutional crisis as a prime example of the Judiciary saving Sri Lanka’s democracy.

“These are important changes that must not be forgotten or underestimated. Before this Government we lived through a time when judges would get calls from politicians on how to rule in key cases. This is what we have heard. When things did not go their way, they even removed the Chief Justice. Therefore we cannot dismiss the importance of judicial independence.”

(FT)

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