MPs Harin, Manusha making false statements under Parliamentary Privileges – Minister Weerasekera

Sarath Weerasekara

The wife of Saharan Hashim, Fatima Sadiya has never stated that her husband had met with intelligence officers at their home at any point, Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekera said in Parliament yesterday.

He said that two MPs had made utterly false statements in Parliament safeguarded by their Parliamentary Privileges with the aim of misleading the public.

“They also challenged me to respond to these claims as the Public Security Minister. Harin Fernando and Manusha Nanayakkara on previous occasions too made such misleading statements in Parliament hiding behind the protection of their Parliamentary Privileges. But, they don’t have the backbone to make these statements in the public domain as they know they have no evidence to back their story and would have to face consequences.”

He said this while making a special statement regarding the statement made by the above-mentioned MPs MP Harin Fernando and Manusha Nanayakkara regarding the Easter attack.

Weerasekera said that the CID had questioned Saharan Hashim’s wife before the Easter Sunday attacks and that if Shani Abeysekera’s CID had carried out the investigation properly, such a catastrophe would not have taken place.

“Saharan Hashim’s wife Abdul Cader Fathima Hadia has made five statements regarding the Easter Sunday attacks, three after the Easter Sunday attacks and two prior to that. On May 6, 2019 she made a confession to the Ampara Police. There are 22 pages and she has not mentioned anywhere in this statement that the intelligence services met with her husband at their home at any point. Then on May 14th 2019, Hadia gave a statement to the CID running into 102 pages.

Nowhere in that statement has she mentioned that the intelligence officers had come and met her husband,” he said, adding that Harin Fernando could go to the CID and verify this for himself.

Minister Weerasekera told MP Harin Fernando not to panic as he would not be arrested. “Don’t worry the CID will not arrest you.

“The last time you were summoned by the CID you got yourself admitted to hospital,” the Minister said. “Hence, now that I asked you to go to the CID tomorrow, don’t run and get yourself admitted tonight,” the Minister said.

Minister Weerasekara also said that Hadia had given a statement to the Presidential Commission running into 362 pages. In that statement too there is nothing mentioned about the intelligence officers meeting Saharan Hashim.

He also tabled another letter confirming that Hadia had at no point stated that the intelligence officers had met with her husband Saharan Hashim. He said that while they had tried to meet with the Cardinal to explain matters, they were not given an appointment.

“Hence, had Shani Abeysekara and his team done their investigations properly, they could have averted the Easter bombings,” he added.

Further responding to Harin’s allegations about a suspicious lorry that was allegedly diverted at the Galanigama entrance of the Southern Expressway, Weerasekera said it was not a suspicious lorry but a lorry transporting ornamental fish brought from China to Horana.

“The senior officer had instructed to release the Lorries fast because it was carrying ornamental fish and these animals had to be transported fast before the oxygen ran out and they died.”

The Minister also presented a full account of this incident in Parliament. He also denied allegations made by MP Harin Fernando regarding a senior police officer being at a luxury hotel in Pasikuda and challenged Harin Fernando to produce any receipts or any other evidence to prove his allegation that a senior police officer had been at the Maalu Maalu Hotel. He said that at present many are trying to make false accusations and lies about the Easter Sunday attacks and are trying to be heroes in Parliament.

Weerasekera noted that dogs, donkeys and wolves could not love this country and appealed to all Parliamentarians not to belittle national security.

The Minister said that that there were various accusations being levelled against the head of the State Intelligence Service Major General Suresh Salley, adding that he was an honest and capable officer who loves this country.

He added that MP Harin Fernando is not an honest person as claimed by him, but a liar to shamelessly lie repeatedly.

(Source: Daily News – By Sandasen Marasinghe, Camelia Nathaniel and Amali Mallawaarachchi)