The Commander of Sri Lanka Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, states that Minister Rishad Bathiudeen had called him three times over an arrest of a suspect linked to the Dehiwala bombings on Easter Sunday.
The Army Commander revealed this today (16) at a press conference, answering a question raised by a journalist regarding a point in the non-confidence motion against Bathiudeen.
Referring to a statement made to a newspaper on May 5th that the Minister attempted to influence the Army Commander into releasing a suspect arrested over the Dehiwala bombing, the Commander that he would describe it as a request from the Minister rather than influencing.
Senanayake said that Minister Bathiudeen called him following the arrest of a certain suspect and that he gave the minister two answers.
According to the Commander, on the first two calls from Bathiudeen, he had told the Minister that he would inform him after checking on the suspect.
On the third call, he had informed the Minister that there is such a suspect among the arrested and asked Bathiudeen to make the same call in one and a half years, said the Army Commander.
When journalists queried the Commander on the relevant suspect, he responded saying that he cannot reveal anything about them except that they were arrested from Dehiwala.