Ranil opposed ban on ‘Niqab’ due to political concerns - Sirisena | Daily News
PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks:

Ranil opposed ban on ‘Niqab’ due to political concerns - Sirisena

Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe opposed to a suggestion made by then Army Commander at a National Security Council (NSC) meeting in 2016 to ban the ‘Niqab’ dress worn by the Muslim women and it was due to political concerns, former President Maithripala Sirisena told the Presidential Commission of Investigation (PCoI) probing the Easter Sunday attacks on Monday.

“Wickremesinghe stressed that there will be a tense situation in the country if such a decision is implemented,” Sirisena said.

“By that time, it was a coalition government. The government had only 106 seats in Parliament and it comprised of Muslim Parliamentarians whose support was essential for the continuity of that government,” he added.

“Earlier it was decided to suspend that decision temporarily but, however it was not implemented even later”, Sirisena added.

The former President presented a news article published in a weekend English newspaper on this incident and said leaking such decisions at the NSC to the media is a serious issue.

This caused him to ban some high-profile officials participating in the NSC meeting too, he said.

Meanwhile, Sirisena told the Commission that Wickremesinghe and his Cabinet supported him only during his first six months in power.

Sirisena said that the Wickremesinghe faction started undermining the President since he started talking against the Bond scam.

“Things became worse when I appointed a PCoI into the Bond scam,” former President Sirisena said.

Sirisena further added that politicians do not have the ability to address the mistrust between various ethnic and religious groups.

“Therefore, special institutions with able manpower need to be established to address these issues,” he added.