Published: Tue, June 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Sri Lankan president sacks intelligence chief over Easter attacks probe

Sri Lankan president sacks intelligence chief over Easter attacks probe

258 people, including 11 Indians, were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka.

President Maithripala Sirisena says he disapproves bringing in state intelligence officers before the Special Parliamentary Select Committee looking into the Easter attacks and revealing state intelligence information via media.

The President also noting that so far the witnesses summoned to the PSC were officers who were removed from the service, said no official of the security forces now in service will be presented to the Select Committee and he will accept the responsibility for all of them.

Evidence before the parliamentary select committee, which began its publicly televised sittings late last month, has placed Mr. Sirisena in a poor light, suggesting that he failed to act on advance warning of the attacks.

Maithripala Sirisena summoned an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday night to oppose a parliamentary select committee probe into the 21 April attacks that killed 258 people, including 45 foreigners, and wounded almost 500.

The president called an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday night to oppose the legislature's investigation into the April 21 attacks that killed 258 people, including 45 foreigners, and wounded almost 500.

Sirisena's office did not give a reason for the sacking.


Halfway through his testimony, the live telecast of the proceedings were stopped on Sirisena's orders, official sources said.

On Friday (June 7) evening, Sirisena summoned an emergency cabinet meeting and said that police, military, intelligence officials and ministers will not testify before the PSC.

Mr Sirisena has repeatedly denied he was aware of an impending threat. "We have sacked Sisira Mendis also", Sirisena said.

The ISIS claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) for the bombings.

Sri Lanka has been under a state of emergency since the attacks. The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Austin Fernando said, "PM Narendra Modi's visit to Sri Lanka will send a message that it is a safe place to travel to".

Among the officials questioned so far are the Defence Secretary, intelligence chief, Police chief and former Defence Secretary.

Like this: