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“Fourth Parliamentary Debate on Easter Sunday Attack to Cost Taxpayers Rs. 45 Million”

Taxpayers are set to bear the financial burden of yet another three-day parliamentary debate on the Easter Sunday attack, costing as much as Rs. 45 million. Despite three previous debates, key questions remain unanswered, leaving many, especially the victims, unsettled and demanding justice.

The Business Committee of Parliament convened on April 5 and decided to hold the debate during the first week of sessions following the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Scheduled for April 25, 26, and 27, the debate occurs against the backdrop of former President Maithripala Sirisena’s claims of possessing exclusive details about the attack, even implicating a neighboring country.

The main opposition, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), initiated this debate with the hope of compelling Mr. Sirisena to disclose the truth as the former Head of State responsible for national security. Despite previous debates in 2019, March 2021, and September 2023, uncertainty looms over whether this latest discussion will yield substantive results.

While some, like former Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekera, have named Naufer Mawlavi as the mastermind behind the attack, others, like State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, question the efficacy of parliamentary debates in resolving such matters, emphasizing the role of the judiciary in prosecuting perpetrators.

Opposition members, like SJB MP Hector Appuhamy, acknowledge Parliament’s limitations but see value in raising questions and holding individuals accountable during the debate. However, skepticism remains, with concerns about whether the debate will yield any new revelations, as voiced by Fr. Cyril Gamini of the Communications Committee of the Archdiocese of Colombo.

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