Tuesday, 22nd June 2021

Suspended police chief blames President Sirisena for Easter bombing

Colombo, Jun 3 (BAN/CD): In a petition to the Supreme Court, Sri Lanka’s suspended police chief accused President Maithiripala Sirisena of failing to prevent the Easter bombing that killed 258 people, according to AFP report.

Inspector General Pujith Jayasundara, in his 20-page complaint, has outlined the communication gaps between intelligence agencies and security of arms of the government, all of which fall under Sirisena.

Sri Lanka’s premier spy agency, State Intelligence Service(SIS) had ordered the police chief to stop police investigations into Islamic militants, says the petition filed last week to the court and AFP.

The police Terrorist Investigation Department was asked to stop all inquiries into the extremist Muslim groups, including National Thawaheed Jama’at, by the SIS who report directly to President Sirisena.

Jayasundara was suspended by President Sirisena after he refused to accept responsibility for the attacks. A full bench of the apex court has been asked by the Attorney General to decide the case.

Adamant on not taking responsibility for the intelligence failure, Jayasundara revealed that he was offered a diplomatic position if he took the fall and stepped down.

The petition came after the President publicly reprimanded another intelligence official, Sisira Mendis, when he told a parliamentary panel that the Easter bombings could have been avoided.

According to Mendis’ testimony, the National Security Council meetings were not held by the President around the time of the attacks carried out by the Islamic State to review the threats.

Contradicting Mendis, the President says a meeting was held 13 days before the attacks with the national police chief and his top brass but no warnings, which had been relayed by India were raised by officers.

A state of emergency that had been declared in Sri Lanka will end in a month’s time, the President announced last week.

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