- Tells commission he did not discuss matter with IGP due to doubts about letter
- CID Director Shani Abeysekara did not provide a proper answer
By Yoshitha Perera
Senior DIG Nandana Munasinghe, who was the Senior DIG of the Western Province in April 2019, yesterday informed the PCoI into Easter Sunday attacks that he has never contacted IGP Pujith Jayasundara, who is currently on compulsory leave, after receiving a top secret intelligence letter on April 09, 2019, mentioning a warning of an Islamic extremist terror attack.
Testifying before the Commission he said that the letter which was received on April 09, 2019 was a confidential document and he was skeptical about information mentioned in the document because the police had not been warned earlier, about an imminent attack that could be launched by Islamic extremists groups.
“The warning letter was sent by CNI Sisira Mendis to the IGP who is currently on compulsory leave. The IGP forwarded me the original letter which received from Mr. Mendis. The copies of the letter were also sent to Senior DIG crimes and STF, DIG special protection range and Director of the Counter Terrorism Investigation Division on April 09,” he informed the Commission.
He said that before receiving this letter he was not aware about such practices conducted by Islamic extremists groups. “Due to this doubtful situation, I did not contact the IGP,” he said. Referring to the warning letter he said that according to the information there was a possible attack by six Islamic suicide terrorists and also warned the police to act in a subtle manner
“ That is why I did not contact the IGP to discuss about the information. The letter also mentioned that State Intelligence Services were conducting further investigations into the matter,” he said. Then the representatives from the Attorney General’s department questioned the witness whether he was aware about the raid of Jihadist training camp in Wanathawilluwa and the findings of explosives from the raided site. Responding to the question the witness said that he was aware about the raid and asked about it from then CID Director Shani Abeysekara but he did not provide a proper answer.
“The LTTE took almost a decade to develop a cadre of suicide bombers. I never thought that there could be such a strong Islamic group. We had no such previous information,” he said.
The Commissioners then questioned the witness on why he had not informed the matter to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. He said that there were sufficient senior officials above him to make that decision. Witness said on April 20, 2019 he received another information from SIS Director Nilantha Jayawardena stating that there could be a possible attack on April 21, 2019 and he said was ready deploy officers for necessary places.
“Then I called all four DIG’s in the Western Province and then Negombo division SSP Chandana Athukorala on deploying officers and strengthening security in these areas where prominent Easter Mass sessions were conducted,” he said.
- The warning letter was sent by CNI Sisira Mendis to the IGP who is currently on compulsory leave. The IGP forwarded me the original letter which received from Mr. Mendis.