UPFA MPs, yesterday, demanded that DIG Nalaka Silva be arrested over an alleged plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Provincial Councils and Local Government Deputy Minister Sriyani Wijewickrama called for the arrest of DIG Silva, sacking of incumbent IGP and conducting investigations into the alleged plot under a new IGP.
MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena said that the entire country was shocked by the recent revelation of a plot to assassinated the President and the former Defence Secretary. “There is a serious allegation that the DIG was planning to secure the support of the underworld to kill the President and the former defence secretary. There are audio tapes of the conspiracy being circulated. The security authorities are very slow in conducting investigations into the conspiracy. Other countries must have been shocked to hear that police of this country were working hand in glove with underworld to carry out political assassinations. The President had promised media that there would be an investigation. We want to know whether the government will take action against the senior police officers concerned. If the president was assassinated, then the Prime Minister would the President as per the constitutional provisions. This is a serious situation.
Leader of the House Public Enterprise Development Minister Lakshman Kiriella: This statement is inimical to the investigations in progress. This is an attempt to interfere in the investigation. I am a lawyer. I understand the danger this statement can inflict on the investigations.
Law and Order Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara: Namal Kumara, addressing a press conference, alleged that he had audio tapes of DIG Nalaka Silva speaking of killing the President. The matter was reported to the Fort Magistrate. Court orders have been obtained to secure the video and audio records from media organisations of the event Namal Kumara making those allegations. The CID has obtained the mobile phone Namal Kumara had used to record the alleged conversations. DIG Nalaka Silva has been transferred from the Terrorist Investigations Division to the Information Technology Division of the police to facilitate investigations.
NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa: This issue raises many questions. Namal Kumara has stated that there was a link between police and the underworld in perpetuating crimes during the Sinhala-Muslim riots in Digana and Kandy. There are many other accusations of serious nature. The DIG should be arrested. We cannot believe that these investigations will be impartial.
Minister Madduma Bandara: We are conducting investigations. We have to consider the evidence. There will be actions on the basis of findings of investigations.
MP Dullas Alhapperuma: This plot has been hatched by the head of the Terrorist Investigations Division. The Government media does not publish anything of this incident. This is the worst ever accusation against the Police Department in its 152 year history.
Minister Madduma Bandara: The President is the first citizen of this country. We have provided necessary security to him. The other person alleged to have been under threat is not a citizen of this country, but we are ready to provide security to him.
MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara: We cannot ensure an impartial investigation under the incumbent IGP. The IGP has taken DIG Nalaka Silva to the Kelaniya temple for a Bodhi pooja to invoke blessings on the latter several minutes ago. That has been reported on news websites.
The Speaker: The Minister could look into that.
Minister Madduma Bandara: I do not know of Bodhi poojas. You can ask the Buddha Sasana minister about that.
UPFA MP Shehan Semasinghe: The DIG concerned has been transferred to the Information Technology Division. The IT Division plays a vital role in providing evidence to this investigation. Now the DIG could meddle with evidence.
UPFA MP Kanaka Herath: One of the sniper guns of the TID went missing last week. We have serious doubts about what happened to that gun and for what purpose it would be used.
Minister Madduma Bandara: If you submit that question in writing to me, I can ask for an investigation.
MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage: Namal Kumara should be given police protection. There are plans to send him abroad. We think that he will be sent abroad so that there will be no investigation.
Minister Madduma Bandara: If he asks for security we are ready to give him security.
MP Kanchana Wijesekera: The DIG should be produced before courts and his passport should be impounded.
Minister Madduma Bandara: We will inform the relevant authorities to do so.
UPFA MP Sisira Jayakody: MP Dinesh Gunawardena directed this question to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is there in the chamber. He will always find time to answer other questions. But he is silent today.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe: When there is an investigation in progress, we cannot reveal everything jeopardising it. We are happy that you are very concerned of the safety and wellbeing of the President. But it was you who removed his security when he was the presidential candidate. Did you have the same concerns then? Our security forces are ready to provide security to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa if he has any threats. I know that there are crises in that party. Under such situation he may need security. You started this issue from the President and now you are talking of IGP. If the IGP is not suitable for the post, you can raise that issue.
Provincial Councils and Local Government Deputy Minister Sriyani Wijewickrama: This is a serious issue. The DIG should be interdicted and arrested if the investigations are to continue without his influence. The IGP should be removed and a new one should be appointed to ensure impartial investigations.
Speaker Jayasuriya: As soon as this was reported to me I discussed the matter with relevant authorities. I summoned the IGP yesterday and discussed the issue with him. I, too, have a responsibility to ensure the security, safety and wellbeing of the President and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.