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President should reveal people behind death threats: JO

The Joint Opposition yesterday called on President Maithripala Sirisena to reveal the names of people responsible for the alleged death threats against him as it could be a serious breach of national security and advocated that any threats to his life should not be used for political gain.

The President, on Tuesday, said he had been facing death threats as a result of his anti-drug campaign as well as due to his decision to re-introduce the death penalty. The President said intelligence officials had warned him of the alleged threats.

Speaking to media at the Opposition Leader’s Office in Colombo, MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the President has a responsibility to reveal more information to the public on his alleged death threats.

“If the President has information, he should reveal that to the public. He should learn a lesson from the Easter Sunday attacks and should take necessary steps as death threats to a sitting President is a serious matter and could affect national security,” he said.

Aluthgamage argued the President should not hesitate to take immediate action if the information he received was linked to national security, insisting any failure to take immediate action could lead to serious consequences. He pointed out the Easter Sunday attacks should be used as a prime example of the need for vigilance and that the President should take the lead in preventing any incidents that could further affect the people’s confidence in national security.

He said any matter that relates to national security should not be taken lightly or should not be used to gain political benefits for upcoming elections.

“Both President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe are doing politics at the moment; therefore, we have reason to believe the President’s claims could be used for political benefits, which is totally unacceptable.”

He said both the President and the Prime Minister had been criticising each other publicly along with members of both Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United National Party (UNP), who have also been criticising each other for months. He argued, based on the actions of the President, the Prime Minister, and their respective political parties, that national security was not taken seriously by both sides.

(FT)

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