PSC to take Dayasiri to court

By Sarah Hannan

The Presidential Select Committee (PSC) on the Easter Sunday attacks warned it will take former Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara to court if he fails to appear before the committee despite being issued two summons.

The PSC will have its next hearing on 10 July, The Sunday Morning learnt.
Jayasekara was summoned before the PSC last week but failed to appear and told Parliament he will not do so.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Chair of the PSC Ananda Kumarasiri told The Sunday Morning that if the MP fails to appear, legal action will be taken against him.
“We are giving the former Minister another chance on 10 July to appear at the PSC hearings. If he decides not to show up, we will take legal action against him.”

The hearings have now arrived at a point where some scheduled hearings had been postponed.

While the Prime Minister is speculated to appear at the PSC hearings to record his statement, Kumarasiri said that the PSC members are still discussing the possibility and necessity of summoning the Premier.

“When we commenced these hearings, we estimated to conclude them by the end of July. However, with the present situation, we are unable to announce a fixed day to conclude these hearings,” Kumarasiri noted.

Elaborating further, the Deputy Speaker noted that after each statement was recorded, there were instances that additional individuals who were not on the scheduled list of respondents would need to be summoned. Following that, the PSC will also have to get these individuals to appear before the PSC to record statements, to support the investigations.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Morning contacted MP Jayasekara to inquire from him the probability of him appearing at the next hearing. Jayasekara revealed that he was yet to obtain some clarifications from the Speaker of the Parliament pertaining to the standing orders passed by the Parliament.

“There are several clarifications over the topics that are discussed at the PSC hearings and there are subjugates. There are five cases against the head of the state and the relevant authorities. The Attorney General Dappula Livera, in a letter to the President, stated that there are concerns over the issues raised by the committee over the case that is progressing in the Supreme Court.”

Jayasekara stated that the Speaker of Parliament needed to give a ruling and table the letter that the President’s Secretary had sent. He further stated that once the proceedings commenced in the Parliament, some of the issues itemised on these letters needed to be submitted to the Parliament.

“The Speaker of the Parliament should give us a ruling saying that these are not sub judice. Minister Laskhman Kiriella on Friday raised an issue on the PSC hearings, stating that the Parliament was not abiding by judicial style proceedings. We, as the Parliament, have passed standing orders within the parliamentary rules, and if we are to violate the rules of the Parliament, I fail to understand how these proceedings need to be conducted,” Jayasekara noted, adding that once the Speaker provided him with sufficient clarifications in the upcoming days, he would consider appearing before the PSC.