May 17, 2019

I stopped media circus & reinstated Bulathwatte - Army Commander Featured

Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake revealed the reasons behind the reinstatement of Major Prabhath Bulathwatte who is facing allegations over the killing of journalists and abductions.

The Commander said he was reinstated to obtain his professional knowledge and that Bulathwatte is currently serving directly under his supervision.

He assured that by his reinstatement it would not have an bearing on the court cases and there is no threat to journalists either.

Gen. Senanayake said he would take personal responsibility over the decision to reinstate Bulathwatte.

He said those who gave him the orders should be held responsible, but also noted that it was not Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka who gave him the orders.

Media censorship

The Commander said that there is no restriction in the media covering raids being carried out throughout the country, but it was he who had requested the government to prevent the media circus instead of responsible reporting.

He noted that when three 12 bore rifle bullets were recovered, certain media reported it in a manner that people were made to understand in a roundabout way that an entire weapons storage was recovered.

Powerful hand behind the Wayamba incidents!

Lt. Gen. Senanayake also noted that a powerful hand was behind the incidents following the Easter Sunday suicide attacks, where people’s properties were attacked.

Bathiudeen’s pressure? Or request?

Senanayake said that Minister Rishad Bathiudeen had contacted him on three occasions over the arrest of a person in Dehiwala. When asked about Bathiudeen pressuring the Commander to have the suspect released, the Commander said that he would rather describe it as a request. He noted that he had responded to Minister Bathiudeen on two occasions. He said on the first instance he had told the Minister he would look into the matter and give him a response. On the second instance too he had said the same. On the third occasion the Commander had said that the person referred to by Bathiudeen was in custody and requested him to call back after 1 ½ years.

He said he had given the minister this time frame as he the commander has the right to detain the suspect for 1 ½ years for questioning.
The Commander made these comments during a media briefing held yesterday (16).

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