Jun 17, 2019

Prominent UNP Ministers mediate in getting President to attend Cabinet meeting Featured

Two prominent UNP Ministers have intervened in trying to get President Maithripala Sirisena to attend the Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held tomorrow (18), it is reported.

One of the ministers, Ravi Karunanayake said that Minister Rajitha Senaratne and himself had met with the President recently and held cordial discussions. The President had told them that he would attend the Cabinet meetings as usual. Karunanayake had made this statement to the BBC Sinhala Service.

He had also said that their intention was to develop the cordial relations between the two leaders.

The President had refrained from calling for the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday (11) due to his disgruntlement over the Parliament Select Committee activities.

Meanwhile, expressing her views to Sri Lanka Mirror regarding the President not attending Cabinet meetings, Sustainable Development Division Senior Lecturer at the Open University Harini Amarasooriya said that collective responsibility is vital within democracy and that in making decisions, the place that the executive meets is at the Cabinet meetings.

Parliament Select Committee

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya appointed a special Select Committee to look into the April 21st Easter Sunday attacks last month.

Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri was appointed as the Chairman of this committee, while the rest of the committee members were Rauff Hakeem, Ravi Karunanayake, Rajitha Senaratne, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Ashu Marasinghe, Jayampathi Wickramaratne, M.A. Sumanthiran and Nalinda Jayatissa.

The first sitting of this committee took place on May 29th at the Parliament complex.

However, protesting against the matters discussed at this committee, the President summoned an emergency Cabinet meeting on June 07th and stated that he would not permit any official under him testify before the select committee.

Meanwhile, former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, giving evidence before the parliament select committee admitted that they had received intelligence information prior to the Easter Sunday attacks.

Pujith Jayasundara stated further that the President had pressured him to take responsibility for the lapse and resign.

The Malalgoda Committee report being handed over to the President

Malalgoda Committee report

Meanwhile, President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a three member committee on April 22, to look into and report on the April 21st Easter attacks.

The Chairman of the committee was Judge Vijith Malalgoda and the other two members were former Ministry Secretary Padmasiri Jayamanne and former IGP N.K. Illangakone.

This committee handed over their report to the President on June 10th, according to the President’s Media Division.

However, so far none of its contents have been made public.

Previously this committee had handed over two other reports.

President get assurance from Karu to attend Cabinet meeting

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Mirror reliably learns that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had agreed to hold the investigations by the parliament select committee without revealing the identities of the intelligence officers without the media in attendance. Accordingly, the President is said to have agreed to attend the Cabinet meeting on June 18th.

It is also reported that the Speaker had spoken to the President regarding this matter.