I Blame The President
Sri Lankan Muslims are not responsible for the Easter Attacks. They do not need to do any soul-searching and they do not need to apologize. Sri Lankan Muslims died in these attacks, they helped people, they donated blood, they are our friends, neighbors and family. They categorically bear no collective responsibility for these acts of murder.
Take these three facts:
- Three years ago, Hilmy Ahamed, vice president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, reported the terrorist group and the government did nothing.
- April 4th, the government had intelligence on this specific attack. And the government did nothing.
- April 21st, the day of the attack, the principals of the National Security Council refused to meet. Even as we were under attack, they did nothing.
Then also take these three decisions:
- The President made himself Minister Of Defence
- After his failed October coup, the President moved the Police under the Ministry Of Defence, a seemingly un-constitutional move as the President’s portfolio’s are limited and Law & Order was distinct from Defence.
- The President prevented the Prime Minister from attending National Security Council meetings, also a move of dubious legality as the PM is a stated member of said Council.
We have a situation where our President took control of the entire security apparatus, breaking the law to do so. Then we had a colossal failure of that security apparatus to act. Indeed, while this threat was on his desk the President took a vacation, and while we were under attack he was nowhere to be found. The public still has yet to directly hear from him.
His unconstitutional and negligent acts have exposed our country to this collosal security failure, left hundreds dead, and left the entire country grieving. If he had any dignity he would resign. If the Parliament had any decency they would impeach him, as they should have done in October.
Last year, the President tried to overthrow our democracy in a failed coup and failed, but now he has overthrown our security. If these aren’t impeachable offences, I don’t know what is. And I truly fear what further damage he can do.
I do not blame my fellow citizens. I do not blame our security forces, who are are still out there diffusing bombs. I wouldn’t even call it an intelligence failure as we had the intelligence. I blame the person responsible for the subjects of Law & Order and Defence. I blame the person who broke and bent the law to take that control. I blame the President. I am grieving, I am angry, and I blame our petty, prideful and law-breaking President, Maithripala Sirisena. He thought only of power and not of responsibility, and now we are all paying the price.