Addressing the Parliament today on the Easter Day attacks, Parliamentarian Sarath Fonseka stated that a tragedy of this scale hadn’t happened even during the 30-years of civil war and that this might be an operation of 7 to 8 years of coordination.
He said that this is a very dangerous situation and cannot be taken lightly. He pointed out that the even LTTE terrorist organization took over 10-12 years to develop into this stage of being able to carry out an attack of this scale. Yet these terrorists started their activities from here.
According to the Field Marshal, the motives of these the LTTE terrorist organization and the terrorist group which carried out Easter Day attacks are different.
“The LTTE wanted to divide the country. They were destroyed in their attempt to grab land. However, these terrorists haven’t come to divide the country. They are trying to build a certain image of their religion in the wrong way. We are saddened by these misguided youth. Yet we do not have hatred towards these youths. But the aims of their terrorism are different. This is global terrorism. They do not have international support. The LTTE terrorism had international support; yet now, we have international support instead. Whatever the terrorism is, the public in this country has to face the same consequences; once again the lives of the people are uncertain”, he stated.
He said, “This won’t only affect the current government. If this isn’t resolved, even if the opposition comes into power, they too will have to face this. Therefore, we should come out of this issue together, with the blessings of all those who are present in the chamber.”
Fonseka says that the country didn’t move forward in the correct path after the civil war:
“After the civil war, the country lived a joyous carnival-life. This is not wrong. But as politicians and heads of tri-forces, we had a responsibility further than this carnival-life. Politicians and army head shouldn’t be thinking of protecting the country only after terrorism comes.”
Stating that the economy comes only after the security of a country, he stated that a country dreaming of security should tighten their security and must be willing to spend on it.
“Foreign intelligence had warned us of these attacks. The date they informed us this doesn’t matter. There is no use of debating about this in this chamber. Action should have been taken the very next day they had received the intelligence”, pointed out the Field Marshal.
“The National Intelligence Chief had sent a letter to the IGP. In a National Security Council, the Intelligence Chief doesn’t fall under the authority of the IGP. The Intelligence Chief is only under the Defense Minister and the Defense Secretary. If the Intelligence Chief sends a letter it is definitely forwarded to President as well. Therefore it is unfair to blame the IGP and fire him over not taking action on it. The National Security Council should have been convened immediately when such a letter came in. This issue won’t be resolved by firing the police chief”, said the MP.
Fonseka stated that following the civil war he had submitted a proposal to establish a larger intelligence unit as a country’s intelligence ensures the safety of the country. He says that he believes this was not properly auctioned and that there is no point of firing intelligence head claiming to restructure.
Speaking on the terrorist group which had carried out the Easter Day attacks, Fonseka said that this is the work of at least 7-8 years. He says there must be nearly 300-400 members in this including a leader such as Prabhakaran who could motivate his followers.
Fonseka says that some have asked him not to criticize the President during these days as he might receive the Ministry of Law and Order.
However, stating that the President could have returned to the country on an earlier flight, the MP stated that if the president of a country is weak, the government and the legislature are also weak.
All including the Defense Minister, the Defense Secretary, and Security heads had neglected their duties despite their excuses. Had this been another country the whole bunch would have resigned, the former Army Commander pointed out.
This intelligence received by the authorities were not given the priority given for even Namal Kumara or Madush, he stated.
Pointing out that the previous Law and Order Ministers did not have any background on the field stated that even ‘Julmapitye Amare’ had more experience in than them.
The Field Marshal also said that Defense Secretaries should have the relevant knowledge and background on security and defense.
“Prime minister invited me to meet him on the matter only after 48 hours of the explosions. I’m a field marshal. I know this stuff. Are there any other persons in the parliament who know about security more than me? We don’t want titles of bulletproof vehicles. I request that, if we have the necessary knowledge and experience, use us”, added Fonseka.