The current Sri Lankan government was ignorant of the Easter Sunday bombings despite prior intelligence reports and that shows how they do not take national security seriously, says opposition MP Namal Rajapaksa.
The Member of Parliament for Hambantota district, is also a member of the opposition party Sri Lanka Podujama Peramuna (SLPP) led by his father, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
During his visit to the Maldives last week, Namal Rajapaksa said the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government was either "too busy with something else" or just ignorant of the intel reports that came in two weeks prior to the April attacks.
"The government themselves admit that there is a lapse of security. What happened is, the current SL government does not take national security as a serious concern. That has been their policy from 2015," said Namal, exclusively speaking to Sun Online.
Namal also added that the opposition warned the government when they began to dismantle intelligence organizations and arrest intelligence officers.
“It is very vital for a country to strengthen their national intelligence and intelligence organizations no matter how big the country is, how small the country is,”
When Namal was asked why the aftermath of the Easter-Sunday Attack saw social ethnic conflicts and communal violence, he said it was the consequence of the government's poor response.
He said after the attacks, the statements made by the president, prime minister, cabinet ministers, and certain Muslim leaders in the cabinet and parliament provoked the community.
“They provoked the community. They divided the community based on their own statements,”
“There were no responsible statements coming from the President and the Prime Minister. This made the people suspicious and demand for certain things,” said Namal.
He also specified that the country's defense forces ' actions were due to security threats and that the forces were vigilant. He said they required to act on the data they obtained instantly but are now more accountable.
Speaking more in the interview, Namal said politicians need to be reconciled in order to reconcile social ethnic and religious disputes. He said the politicians use these disputes and racism as a weapon during the elections to demonstrate their power and survive. He pointed out that the people themselves have no issues with varying religious groups, ethnicity or races.
Namal stated that radicalism needs to be stopped and religious leaders should come together to prevent extremism. He said that “religious leaders should teach the youth the damage that can cost to the religion due to extremism,”
Namal mentioned that the youth need to be educated and have a greater mindset. He said they had to maintain the differences and political opinions aside in order to work for a better nation.
Namal also said that this sort of terrorism is new to Sri Lanka and that it is mass disruption.
“We have seen the LTTE. But this is mass disruption. It doesn’t matter that you are Sinhalese, Buddhist, Hindu or a Christian. Or whether you are a politician or a non-politician. They just go for mass disruption,”
In addition, he highlighted the long-term need for Sri Lanka to work for better and stronger national security.