SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara admitted that the differences between the President and the government were widening by the day with another looming crisis in the absence of today’s Cabinet meeting.
Mr. Jayasekara criticised the questioning of former SIS Chief Sisira Mendis by the Parliamentary Select Committee and the answers given by him.
He told the weekly news briefing that the whole purpose of the PSC was to embarrass President Maithripala Sirisena but the way the sensitive information on intelligence was exposed through the media has put national security at risk.
The MP said the government, the joint opposition and the SLFP approved the appointment of a PSC to inquire into the allegations contained in the no-confidence motion against Rishad Bathiudeen. But the JO and SLFP members resigned when the government arbitrarily included matters relating to the Easter Sunday attack.
He said the UNP members of the PSC had no moral right to question ex-DIG Mendis as most of them are from the national list.
“The PSC’s summoning of intelligence officers and questioning them is sub-judice because about half a dozen of court cases have been filed against the PSC probe. It also violates Parliament Standing Orders. It is sad to note that the PSC had met even today ignoring President’s request. The probe on intelligence and security matters and intelligence officers exposing sensitive evidence before the media is not only a disadvantage to litigants but a threat to national security. The Attorney General has also written to the Speaker on this matter,” the MP said.
He claimed that Mr. Mendis as the most senior intelligence officer had failed to do his duty and prevent the Easter Sunday carnage.
“Instead of performing his duties he left for Singapore on April 13 and returned on the 16th. Former defense secretary Hemasiri Fernando was in Diyatalawa. They had failed to inform the President on the impending threat, which is a major lapse on their part. But the select committee is trying hard to pin the blame on the President,” the MP said.
He said the sole aim of the select committee was to sling mud at President Sirisena and all its questioning are directed to tarnishing his image.