VIDEO: Prime Minister reveals statements made by Salley
May 8, 2013 11:29 am
The CID has begun investigations on the National Unity Alliance General Secretary Azath Salley concerning several occasions in which he threatened the peace of the country and unity among racial groups within the country through statements he made to electronic and print media, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne stated.
Responding to questions raised by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe in Parliament concerning the government’s use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to arrest political rivals, the Prime Minister stated that Salley had made a statement to the Indian publication ‘Junior Vikatan’ on April 24, 2013 which appeared in an article on page 24 and 25 in which Salley states that the Muslims in Sri Lanka have no choice but to take up arms.
The Prime Minister vehemently denied any hatred between the Muslims, Sinhalese and Tamils, claiming that these communities were living in peace throughout the country with no reports of any issues.
He added that this publication would be seen around the world and news of Salley’s statements would reach the 51 Muslim countries which would in turn think that Muslims were being treated unfairly in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka receives the most aid from Muslim nations and if such a picture is portrayed to them relationships between nations could be put at risk, he told Parliament.
The Prime Minister in his response also revealed that the CID had on numerous occasions requested Salley to come in for questioning but the former CMC member had ignored the requests before the CID had arrested him from his residence where he was allegedly “hiding”.
He reminded parliament that the government has a duty to protect the country from terrorism and to act upon the PTA without looking at the status of the person involved.
Opposition members fiercely claim that the arrest of Salley is a blatant act of political vengeance but Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne stated that the Prevention of Terrorism Act will not be used for political reasons.
Jayaratne went on to explain the importance of the PTA in maintaining peace in the country and preventing domestic and international terrorist agendas against the country.
Following the address by the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe requested him to reveal what terrorist outfit Salley was affiliated with to which no response was given.