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Cardinal has no right to urge IGP to leave post: Defence Secretary

Defence Secretary (Retired) General Kamal Gunaratne responded to the allegations levelled by His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo, involving the Police’s conduct towards the recent discovery of a bomb at the All Saints Church in Borella, saying that the Cardinal has no right to urge the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to resign from his post, during a briefing in Kandy today (15).

The Cardinal speaking to a briefing held recently commented that the investigations into the bomb discovery at the All Saints Church in Borella cannot be accepted, criticising the manner in which the Police behaves throughout the chain of events.

“I say this because I have respect for the Cardinal. He was not the one who gave the IGP his coat. I do not know whether the Cardinal has a right to say that the IGP’s coat must be taken off. ‘Intelligent people’ are aware of such matters. Therefore, the IGP may not be taking his coat off like said. But I as the Defence Secretary know that the IGP is navigating the investigations in this regard well enough,” Gunaratne said.

The Defence Secretary went on: “The saying that the discovery of a hand grenade threatens National Security is not believable. National Security is something that runs wider than that. Those of certain ideas in their minds may attempt to commit such acts here and there. But we are putting every effort to prevent such acts as well as bring such persons before law. Therefore, the people need not be panic.”

Suggesting that the conclusion of an investigation cannot be simply performed in the manner of a miracle, Gunaratne commented, “The conduction of an investigation cannot be simply concluded within a matter of two-or-three hours. It requires a certain time. I am not saying that it requires about seven to eight months. Several days are required to the least. Therefore, our Police, the CID and the Intelligence Units are having their special interest on the security of the churches. Thus certain arrests have been made as well. These matters are being handled. Therefore, I say to the public that it would be a miracle to conclude such investigations and make the arrests in a matter of 24 hours, or two-to-three hours. It needs some time. But I as the Defence Secretary guarantee the public that all those connected to this will be brought before law. We have already come a long way in this regard. We have taken the investigation into so much more than what the public knows about this. “

The Defence Secretary also urged the Cardinal to step back from the matter without making any interference, saying, “Despite the Cardinal’s statement, the CID and Police officers have the ability to go further than he thinks and carry out the investigations as needed. So “do not” rush into teaching them how to investigate or “criticise” the way they do things. It would be alright to criticise, if you cannot be satisfied with the final outcome. But the most important thing is that the investigation must be carried out. It should be concluded. Also, the investigating officers should be able to prove that they are guilty with sufficient evidence. Otherwise, the perpetrators will never be punished before law.”

MIAP

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