Sri Lanka’s leader of the opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa slammed the current government’s handling of national security, accusing it of weakening security measures after he lost power in 2015.
Blaming the current government for allowing ‘terrorism to raise its head again,’ Rajapaksa went on to criticise attempts to repeal the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), a legislation that has been criticised by the UN and several rights group.
Speaking in parliament on Tuesday he said,
“If the government had repealed the PTA as requested by the intentional community, the situation may have been worse.”
Calling on the current government to resign he said,
"This incident occurred because of the conduct of this government from the time they came into power in January 2015. If anyone is to resign over these incidents, it should be the government,"
The former president made similar comments in a Sinhala press release on the day of the bombings, where he blamed the government for weakening Sri Lanka’s security and allowing terrorism into Sri Lanka. An English press release released simultaneously by Rajapaksa had no mention of this.
The size of Sri Lanka's predominantly Sinhala military forces amount to just over 200,000 personnel, with 80% of them deployed across the Tamil North-East. Sri Lanka's Prevention of Terrorism act has received international condemnation for abetting arbitrary detention and systemic torture.