President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has pledged that all parties responsible for the Easter Sunday Massacre will be penalised, speaking at the Discussion with the Village Program held in Giribawa, Kurunegala today (06).
In his visit to Giribawewa, the President met with the villagers at their houses and talked with them.
The report released by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe the Easter Sunday Genocide was taken with the President to the program and demonstrated to the villagers.
Denoting that the parties responsible for the attack are clearly mentioned in the report on several occassions, the President stated that the report speaks of how the previous regime had prioritised national peace and reconciliation over national security.
"The witnesses have testified that the previous government had not taken any active solutions to combat religious extremism. The inefficient government had been a prime factor in the 2019 April Attack. Not only President Sirisena and the Prime Minister, but the goverment should be responsible," the President read the report, adding that those within the previous government, however, speak as if they were never there.
"The government is asked to be proactive rather than progressive, in the event that there were hundreds of IS supporters in Sri Lanka and that IS was spreading like wildfire in South Asia, and there is need to create a legal framework to prevent inciting ethnic and religious hatred. Unfortunately, the government led by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe had failed to accomplish it then. Several witnesses testified that the government was reluctant to take drastic action against rising Islamic Extremism due to its dependence backed by Muslim political parties. Evidence before the Commission of Inquiry confirms this position," he further read.
Certain parties, however, have the tendency to put the blame on the former President, he added.
The President further revealed that the report indicates that the national security program prioritised during the Mahinda Rajapaksa government has not been continued.