Colombo, April 29 (IANS): Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the Easter Sunday attacks could have been prevented if the new Counter Terrorism Bill was passed in Parliament without delay.
“No anti-terrorism law in Sri Lanka provides for territorial jurisdiction under which a cadre belonging to an international terrorist organisation could be arrested in Sri Lanka if they are found. Not even the penal code provides that provision,” the Prime Minister told the Daily Mirror.
“We have included this provision in the new Counter Terrorism Bill. However, it is stuck in Parliament for months. The Easter Sunday attacks could have been prevented if this legislation was passed.”
Wickremesinghe reiterated that defence authorities should have acted upon the warnings given by intelligence units.
“There has been no breakdown in the intelligence services but the issue has been that the Defence authorities had not acted upon the warnings,” he added.
The Easter Sunday attacks that targeted churches and hotels killed 253 people and injured more than 500 others.