Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa has called for a clarification from Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as regards a statement attributed to Indian Defenec Minister regarding India acquiring weapons from Sri Lanka. The statement has been made in the Lok Sabha.
The Speaker was responding to a query raised by UNP Ratnapura District MP Thalatha Atukorale and listed on the Order Paper for the fourth time yesterday.
MP Atukorale asked whether the statement attributed to Indian Minister of Defence was true and if so the time period in which the transaction had taken place, the types of weapons, funds received from India and any documentary proof that would ensure the transparency of that transaction.
Although the UNPer posed the question to the Prime Minister and Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, Chief Government Whip Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena sought an additional month to respond to the query.
MP Atukorale: Honourable Speaker, I raised this question eleven months ago. It appeared in the Order Paper four times. The government repeatedly asks for more time.
The MP queried whether the government didn’t want to respond because it didn’t want to admit selling weapons despite being a Buddhist country.
Minister Dinesh Gunawardena: “Yes this country has pure Buddhism and don’t try to create rift between it and the country where the Buddha was born.”
Speaker Rajapaksa: “I order that the Secretary of Defence respond to this question immediately.