Defence Secretary Shantha Kottegoda said he received information regarding ‘interested parties’ working create a tense situation in Kurunegala yesterday, while appearing before the Parliamentary Select Committee probing Easter attacks
“There was a gathering happening in Kurunegala yesterday and we saw groups of outsiders arrived in the area and organized themselves. We also heard a few powerful figures were there,” Kottegoda sad.
He said due to pockets of violence erupting in various areas, they have been forced to divert military forces engaged in counter-terrorism operations, to control violence and unrest.
Secretary Kottegoda in his responses to the Committee, also called upon the media to report on incidents responsibly and provide clarification as much as possible to the public. He added social media has been a main tool spreading misinformation in these trying times, while pointing to the controversy that built around locally produced UN buffle vehicles that were misinterpreted as a foreign army landing in Sri Lanka, on various social media platforms.
He also highlighted on the importance of implementing a long term deradicalization plan to rehabilitate those indoctrinated on Islamic extremism.