COLOMBO (Citizen) - Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that banning the niqab and burqa worn by Muslim women would be tantamount to arming Islamic extremists on one hand and destroying the support extended to traditional and moderate Muslims on the other.
The former Prime Minister made these comments while testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks. These comments were made yesterday (October 13), which was the second day in which he testified before the Commission.
He also stated that although there were persons who followed the ideologies of the ISIS extremist group in the country, there was not enough intelligence regarding their activities to ban the group. He added that the only clear link established between the terrorists who carried out the Easter bombings and the ISIS group was a message they released on the internet claiming responsibility for the attacks.
He also stated that he now feels that action should have been taken to ban the group in the country.
The former Prime Minister also stated that the lack of clear intelligence regarding the April 21 Easter attack revealed the shortcomings of the intelligence services.