May 07, 2019

Defence units in a quandary over banning extremist groups? Featured

Despite President Maithripala Sirisena announcing on April 27th that two Islam extremist groups would be banned following the Easter Sunday attacks, until yesterday the relevant gazette notification had not been issued.

The President’s Media Unit said in a special statement on April 27th that under section No 1 of 2019 Emergency Regulations that the President had ordered the National Thawheed Jamath (NTJ) and the Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) organization to be banned.

However, as the relevant gazette notification has not been issued so far and these organisation not been banned, the security forces are unable to take any action with regard to their financial and other assets.

Further, issued have arisen with regard to carrying out investigations against those who had funded or sponsored these terror organisations.

Danger of criminal’s escaping:

The investigating teams have also highlighted the danger in these arrested terror group members being granted bail on the grounds that these organisations are not banned.

However, the President’s Secretary Udaya R. Tennakoon told media that the relevant gazette notification would be issued within the day (07).

But, the Defence Ministry Secretary Shantha Kottegoda said that written approval should be given.

The Defence Ministry Secretary had said that the decision to ban these two organisations was taken at the Security Council meeting last Friday (03).

This clearly points to the stark disparity between the statements issued by the President’s media unit and the President’s Secretary.

Notification by the Intelligence units!

Meanwhile, Military Spokesman Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said the process of issuing the gazette notification had been stalled due to a notification issued by the intelligence units that together with these two organisation, several other organisations should also be banned.

However, according to reliable sources, approval had currently been received only for the banning of the NTJ and the JMI organisations.

Nalaka’s letter seeking the banning of these organisations, stuck with AG!

Meanwhile, a senior police official said that to date no one knows what happened to the letter sent to the Attorney General by the former DIG in charge of the TID Nalaka Silva in 2017, requesting the banning of these two terror groups.