We have now reached a situation where we are forced to ask ourselves whether there is a President in this country, Sirisena loyalist Azath Salley said while testifying before Parliamentary Select Committee probing Easter attacks last evening.
A visibly irked Salley speaking before the PSC members said he had continuously tipped off law enforcement and intelligence agencies regarding activities of the National Thawheed Jamath (NTJ), other Thawheed groups and its leaders including Abdul Razik of the Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamath to no avail.
“If a proper investigation was done into Zaharan’s activities and into the properties accumulated by the NTJ, this tragedy could have been avoided,” Salley said.
The ex-Governor went on to note that he will responsibly state that it was the brother of former Muslim Affairs Minister M H A Haleem – Fahim, who directly assisted NTJ expand its activities and extended such well sponsored state support to conduct their operations without a hindrance.
Given the NTJ mosques mushroomed in various parts of the country without any accountability or regulation, Salley says the backing and some of the funding to the NTJ directly came from coffers of the Muslim Affairs Ministry.
Answering a question aimed at him by Minister Ravi Karunanayake on whether there are more individuals who share Zaharan’s beliefs and operate similarly, Salley says, “yes there are but I will not publicly reveal that information.”
Salley goes on to note SLTJ Leader Abdul Razik is another individual who should have been taken into custody, but has been avoiding arrest for the past several years.
“Razik has openly stated that he gets goosebumps when he hears ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi speak. There is video evidence that proves his sympathy for ISIS and yet he is not arrested…Just three days beforemy resignation I asked the President why Abdul Razik is not being arrested. The President immediately contacted the CID to inquire. The officer on the line whispered something in his ear and that was it..” Salley said adding there are individuals within the government and law enforcement who prevent the arrest of Razik claiming he is an important informant.