Never in­flu­enced Army Chief

I never in­flu­enced the army chief to re­lease anyone

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - FRONT PAGE - BY AJITH SIRI­WAR­DANA AND YO­HAN PER­ERA

I tele­phoned the army com­man­der to check if such per­son was there in the cus­tody of the army

Minister Rishad Bathi­udeen yes­ter­day said he had never in­flu­enced the army com­man­der and that he only in­quired about a per­son who was taken by an uniden­ti­fied group.

He told par­lia­ment that he never forced the Army Com­man­der to re­lease anyone and asked if it was wrong to in­quire about a per­son in their cus­tody.

“A se­nior ad­vi­sor to the Min­istry of Mus­lim Af­fairs tele­phoned me and said his son was taken by an uniden­ti­fied group and wanted me to check his where­abouts. Then I asked the po­lice about him for two days. I even went to the De­hi­wala po­lice sta­tion but they said he was not there. I con­tacted De­fence Minister of State Ruwan Wi­je­w­ar­dene. He told me to ask the army com­man­der. Then I tele­phoned the army com­man­der to check if such per­son was there in the cus­tody of the army. I did it on hu­man­i­tar­ian grounds. I never in­flu­enced the army chief to re­lease anyone,” he ex­plained.

Re­spond­ing to al­le­ga­tions of sev­eral op­po­si­tion MPS, he said his brother was not ar­rested as al­leged and that he ob­tained a re­port from the IGP to prove it. He also re­jected the al­le­ga­tion that a Moulavi who was acted as an ad­vi­sor to him was ar­rested. He said he had only two ad­vi­sors and there was no such Moulavi among them.

“I also re­ject the al­le­ga­tion that my co-co­or­di­nat­ing Sec­re­tary was ar­rested. It was false,” he said.

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