Apr 23, 2019

I wasn't told about the terror attack threat - MR

People have no use for a government that cannot assure them of the safety of their lives, said former president and current opposition leader - Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Speaking in parliament today (23), he said that he handed over a completely secure and peaceful country to the new President in January 2015 and that Easter Sunday attacks would never have taken place under their government.

Slamming the government for weakening the intelligence services over the years, the opposition leader said that present government is squarely responsible for the terrorist attacks that took place last Sunday.

"We can now see that the government is preparing to sacrifice some official and wash their hands of the matter. This incident occurred because of the conduct of this government from the time they came into power in January 2015. If anyone is to resign over these incidents, it should be the government. Despite the persecution that the intelligence services had been subject to, they did obtain prior intelligence relating to this attack and conveyed the information to certain quarters. But nothing happened thereafter. That warning had been sent to my security officers as well, but they did not keep me informed about the threat. If I had known that there was an imminent threat of this nature, I would have immediately informed His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and also curtailed my own movements," he added.

A heated situation ensued in parliament during this speech and the Speaker prorogued parliament until 10.30am tomorrow.