Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake yesterday (May 16) said that Minister Rishad Bathiudeen had called him to inquire as to what could be done regarding a suspect who was arrested during the ongoing terror attack investigations.
Responding to journalists during a news conference, the Army Commander said that the Minister had called him thrice and briefed him about a suspect who was arrested in Dehiwala recently.
“During the first and second phone calls, I responded saying that I will find out and let him know. During the third call I told him (the Minister) to call me after one-and-a-half years,” the Commander said explaining that he has been vested with the powers to detain a suspect for one-and-a-half years.
The Commander, however, denied claims that he was pressurised to release a suspect. “More than being pressurised I prefer to call it a request,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Senanayake proceeded to note that a majority of Army personnel who were deployed for security following the terror attacks had to be deployed for security in areas where unrest was caused 13-14 days later.
He also emphasised that the Army which has been Deploying a limited number of personnel over the last few days, however, if the situation is not restored to normal, measures would be used to exercise maximum strength.
Commander Senanayake also urged the public to have faith in the security forces while assuring that the Police and the tri-forces have taken every steps possible to overcome the current threat in the country.