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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

Published on - 10/26/2007

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Disclosed to Parliament what Transpired Regarding the LTTE Terrorist Attack on the Anuradhapura Air Base

THE MEDIA SPOKESMAN for National Security, Honorable Minister Keheliya Rambukwella held a Media briefing at the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) this morning (26).

He stated that at the media briefing at the MCNS on 22nd morning he reminded that he had stated whatever information that was available at the time regarding the LTTE Terrorist attack on the Anuradhapura Air Force Base. He reminded that the LTTE Terrorist attack was around 3.05 am and what he proposed today was to discuss any matters arising from what was told at the earlier briefing as there were some misgivings in some quarters of the media that the information given was not only withheld but was also untrue.

The Honorable Minister reiterated that there was no reason to either withhold information nor make false statements regarding the incident. All available facts which were very clearly disclosed to the media. However, he said that what was told to the media were details of incident which were known at the time as clearing operations were still in progress at the time of the briefing.

The Honorable Minister stated that by next day (23) there were many reports in the media and allegations were leveled that what was told was untrue and inadequate . However as it is the responsibility of the Government to inform the public officially the Sri Lankan Prime Minister undertook the task to do so on the 24th.. The Prime Minister gave all the details of the entire outcome of the attack on the Air Base of which he gave a comprehensive account which information was not available at the time the media briefing held on 22nd morning . Nevertheless an idea had developed amongst some that matters regarding the attack were untrue.

Due to misconceptions and allegations of false information it was necessary to meet the media today (26) to answer any matters that needed clarification. He pointed out once again that there was no need to hide the truth.

The Honourable Minister Rambukwella answering a question posed regarding the disposal of the bodies by the media explained that the bodies had to be buried in accordance with a Magisterial order although they were to be handed over to the ICRC according to earlier arrangements. The Military Media spokesman Brigadier Udhaya Nanayakkara also explained what transpired and events leading to the change of earlier arrangements for the disposal of the bodies.

The Commander of the Air Force Air Marshall Roshan Goonetilleka was also present to answer questions which needed explanation regarding the security of Sri Lankan Air space and plans to purchase new aircraft. He stated that it was the LTTE Terrorist ground attack and not the two bombs dropped by the LTTE aircraft that did the damage. He also explained that air space security was according to priorities which he cannot disclose but the purchase of new aircraft was being discussed.

The Minister of Mass Media and Information, the Honourable Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told the media that unrest was created among the people in the Tissamaharama area on Wednesday night as a result of false information given by the ABC radio that the LTTE Terrorist were attacking the area . This was false, irresponsible and a mischievous broadcast. A deterioration of \'peace\' was prevented only by the timely intervention of the Security forces and the Police in the area. After an inquiry which was conducted by the Secretary of the Ministry as ordered by the Hon. Min, he said he was compelled to withdraw the license issued for broadcasting was withdrawn.

The Hon. Min for Mass Media and Information told the media that Trade Union action demanding rectification of teacher pay anomalies was unfair and unjust. He stated that teachers have been paid much more than many public servants and that action is been taken to rectify the prevailing anomalies. They too will be rectified in time. Trade Union action in the circumstances he said is both unfair by the students as well to the government which is attempting to rectify these anomalies as early as possible.

(Courtesy : MCNS)