Defence Secretary Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne urged the public not to be misled by the various false claims being made regarding the Easter Sunday attacks and that police investigations have progressed rapidly.
“A certain group is attempting to create a public opinion that this is a conspiracy by the President to come to power. They are attempting to drag the President into this,” he said during a media brief held on Thursday at the Defence Ministry.
“As the Secretary of Defence, I can responsibly say that our police, the CID have carried out investigations to a large extent and are further continuing with the investigations, cases have been filed before court and the Chief Justice has also appointed a Trial-at-Bar with this regard.”
“Therefore, I am requesting the public not to be fooled by these false opinions.”
With regard to the Easter Sunday bombings, he went on say that “the burden of proof plays a crucial role which is now on state agencies” and he reasoned “that is why it seems like time consuming” he also stated responding to further questions from the media personnel present.
Navy Commander Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana Wickramaratne were also present at the media briefing.
The police chief requested that any information related to the aforesaid incident be submitted to CID for onward legal proceedings. The IGP added that the confidentiality of all informants related to any incident will be assured.
The Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne said the present government since its emergence to power in 2019, has crippled all avenues of social threats posed in the face of organized crimes, drug smuggling, underworld activities and extortion through the combined efforts of top level state-run defence agencies under the guidance of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa as stated in the policy framework, ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’.
Further speaking, he said, “in a short span of less than one year and nine months of the government, the law enforcing agencies have nabbed over 3,200 kilos of heroin, a number of illegal weapons from the clutches of underworld kingpins and various other types of narcotics as of today.”
The government would not leave room for anybody to drag the national security into jeopardy under the guise of COVID-19, he asserted.
The Defence Secretary stressed “it is pointless conducting isolated media conferences without informing the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), if precise information available related to any case”.
Illustrating all the strategies adopted to overcome the deep-seated corruption and malpractices in the Prison system, he said “it has been regulated strictly while jamming the prison intimates’ communication to external wrongdoers”, adding “Because we recognized all the crimes being operated through Prisons”.
Describing swift measures introduced to crush the drug and crime network operated behind the bars in prison cells, he said “the conversion of Boossa Prison into a ‘High Security Prison’ was instrumental and the high-profile notorious criminals are imprisoned there as of now”.
“Moreover, mobile jammers were fixed at the Negombo and Angunakolapalassa prisons and similar precautions would be introduced to Mahara and Welikada Prisons in due course”, he added.
Elaborating the number of narcotics nabbed to date, Gunaratne said 20,949 kilos of Kerala Cannabis, 42,354 drug-embedded capsules and 104,097 related tablets were also taken into the custody following great endeavours exerted jointly by the Defence Ministry and the Public Security Ministry.
“All the routes of drug inflow into the island have been identified as well,” he revealed during the briefing.
Navy Chief Vice Admiral Ulugetenne while citing action initiated to educate the fishing community around the island, requested from the owners of fishing craft to be on alert and find whereabouts of their valuable vessels since a section of persons venturing into sea may use their vessels for such illegal activities.
All the assets associated with illegal drug trafficking will be liable for confiscation if proved guilty, IGP Wickramaratne also emphasised.
Responding to why military is also intervening into the prevention of the spread of highly contagious virus, the Defence Secretary said, “facing the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare is a part of the duty of the armed forces personnel and therefore, we have employed our professional medical staffers with them to contain the spread of the pandemic”.
“We have informed all our vaccination centres to facilitate all civilians arriving to receive the jabs”, he affirmed.
Revealing on operations in progress, he stated: “We are now in the process of netting all persons involved in online advertising of prostitution in the country and they will be produced before the law eventually”.
Meanwhile, replying to a question on a bit relaxed method experiencing in the current quarantine curfew enforced, the Defence Secretary explained “we must look into the status quo in a rather humanitarian angle”.