‘Govt.not decided to appoint SF as Tri-Forces operations Head’

Ranil Wickremesinghe

The Cabinet has not decided to appoint Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as the Head of operations of the Tri-Forces, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.

The Premier also said that the Cabinet only discussed about the operation of Essential Services. He also said that he is bound by principle of collective responsibility on the matters at the cabinet. He added that he could only reveal the decisions reached at the Cabinet on April 25.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe made these observations in response to a question raised by JVP MP Vijitha Herath during the Questions Round from the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister also said that the Commander-in-Chief is the President by the Constitution.

“Appointment of a person as the Head the operations of the Tri-Forces has to be done in accordance with the existing law” the Premier said.

“The Cabinet of Ministers asked the President and me to appoint a special top level committee to ensure the continuance of essential services in the face of any emergency. Now,further discussions are being continued with regard to the appointment of the committee. If there is a decision coming from these discussions to assign a role to Minister Fonseka in that committee, we could do so,” the Prime Minister said.

MP Herath said that Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne stated at the Cabinet press briefing that the President proposed the name of Fonseka for the post of head of Tri-Forces operations. He also questioned if it was true to which the Premier said that he could not reveal who said what at the Cabinet meeting.

At this stage MP Herath said several other ministers had made contradictory statements on Minister Senaratne’s statement. He questioned if prime minister was correct was Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne wrong. “I cannot say so” Premier said. “Minister Rajitha is not in the country. Some media carry news distorting the statements.”

The Premier also said that President Maithripala Sirisena on several occasions praised the talents of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. “In 2010, we all thought that Fonseka would be suitable for that post,” the Premier said. “So both you and I got into the stage during a past Presidential election and asked people to vote for him. But,the campaign was not successful. Later, we selected Maithripala Sirisena as the Common Candidate,”the Prime Minister said.

(Source: Daily News – By Sandasen Marasinghe and Disna Mudalige)