Prez perturbed over CDS arrest move

Published : 9:16 am  September 14, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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  • Says the head of state should be informed before action is taken against high ranking military officers


 LATE-CITY--DM-1-4By Kelum Bandara 

President Maithripala Sirisena who hurriedly summoned a special Cabinet meeting yesterday criticized the move to arrest high profile military officers even without initiating court action against them.   


The President summoned this meeting in the event of moves by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to record a statement from Chief of Defence Staff Ravindra Wijegunaratne over the incident in which 11 students were abducted during the war time. He was asked to give a statement to the CID last Monday. However, he had gone to Mexico the same day. Also the CID had informed court earlier that they would arrest the CDS. .   

The President is reported to have said that it is unbecoming of those concerned to harass the officers of the military top brass in this manner even before initiating court action. Also, the President took a swipe at Minister Sarath Fonseka for criticizing Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake and speaking about defence matters.   

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera is reported to have argued with the President, and said the government was elected on the premise to apply the rule of law across the board. However, the President shot back saying five out of the six persons, arrested in connection with the abduction of 11 students, were bailed out.   


  • Raises issue over comments by SF on Army Commander
  • He should be notified in advance if there were moves to take into custody of high profile military officers

Despite that, he said moves were underway to arrest high ranking military officers. He noted that the Head of State should be notified in advance if there were moves to take into custody high profile military officers.He said such harassment to military officers would justify claims by the Joint Opposition that war heroes were victimized.   

The President was highly critical of the Law and Order Ministry in this case.   

Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne also expressed his views. Public Enterprise Development Minister Lakshman Kiriella reportedly said that all these issues could be discussed after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe returned to the country.   

Sixteen Cabinet Ministers including the Prime Minister were absent at the meeting yesterday.