close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
October 24, 2019

Easter attack lapses: Sri Lanka parliament blames president

World

AFP
October 24, 2019

COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan parliamentary report accused President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday of "actively undermining" national security and of failing to prevent the Easter Sunday bombings earlier this year that killed 269 people.

A cross-party committee which probed alleged intelligence lapses related to the suicide bombings said Sirisena had not given proper guidance or support to the country’s security establishment and police.

It also found fault with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and deputy defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene, who it said had "failed in their duties". Some 269 people were killed on April 21 in a series of suicide attacks on hotels and churches blamed on a local jihadi group.

"The PSC observes that the president failed on numerous occasions to give leadership and also actively undermined government (security and intelligence) systems," the 1,649-page report said.

The parliamentary select committee has no powers to indict, but its findings can form the basis of criminal prosecutions or civil action against those identified as being responsible for serious lapses.

The inquiry said Sirisena -- who is also the minister of defence -- had excluded the police chief from crucial national security council meetings. The report added that the country’s spy agency -- the State Intelligence Service (SIS) which falls directly under Sirisena’s remit -- had received advance information on the attacks, but failed to act on it.

SIS director Nilantha Jayawardena had been warned on April 4 by a foreign intelligence agency -- identified previously by officials as from India -- of a possible attack.

"This failure by the SIS has resulted in hundreds of deaths, many more injured and immeasurable devastation to Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans, and that must not be treated lightly," the report said. Sirisena has long blamed police chief Pujith Jayasundara and ministry of defence secretary Hemasiri Fernando for lapses, and initiated criminal prosecutions against them.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus