Ranawaka too wants intelligence units to be independent of politics

Patali Champika Ranawaka

Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka says that intelligence units should be rid of political interference to ensure national security.

“Our intelligence units are forced to give priority to political missions over the tasks related to national security. They should be liberated from the political influences,” the Minister said, addressing a convention organised by the Jathika Maga at the Batticaloa Town Hall, on Thursday.

He said: “The government, political parties and religious institutions, especially the Muslim society, have the responsibility to prevent terror attacks such as the Easter Sunday carnage. Now, there are charges against the intelligence units, Defence Ministry and the political leaders who run those establishments for their failure to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks. There had been many intelligence warnings but they had not been acted upon.

“Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, when he met with Catholic MPs and Ministers, made a request to appoint an independent special commission to investigate the Easter Sunday carnage. There are two of them – one appointed by the President and the other a Parliamentary Select Committee. We demand that the reports from these two committees be made public. There should be a special investigation to ascertain the veracity of allegations that the National Towheed Jamat of Zahran and other Muslim extremist organisations had received funds and support from defence establishments during the years 2012, 2013 and 2014. It seemed that the then political leadership harboured wrong notions that the enemy’s enemy was our friend.

“That mistake had been committed by the US, too, by supporting the Al-Qaeda of Osama Bin Laden when the Soviets entered Afghanistan. The US presumed that their enemy’s enemy was their friend. Eventually the Al-Qaeda turned its guns on the US. It seems now that some of our political leaders too needed the services of Zahran and other extremist groups to subdue to voice of moderate Muslims.

“The country deserves to know why the Easter Sunday disaster could not be averted though there had been many intelligence reports warning of the terror attacks. It is true that many who were involved in those attacks are either dead or in custody, but to prevent similar disasters in future, we must set the intelligence units free of political influences. They should become an independent mechanism dedicated to maintain the national security without succumbing to race, religion, language, caste and other identity political agendas of the rulers.”

(Source: The Island)