- biggest challenge that the country faced was activities related to religious extremism
By Yoshitha Perera
Although the State Intelligence Service (SIS) had shared reports and intelligence pertaining to the rise of Islamic extremism in the country and the activities of Zahran’s group to prevent a possible disastrous situation, those submissions were in vain as the bombings on 2019 Easter Sunday could not be prevented, former SIS Director SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena yesterday informed the PCoI probing the Easter Sunday attacks.
Responding to a question raised by a Commissioner, Jayawardena said that the SIS had performed its duty and shared necessary intelligence with the relevant authorities, even though working under very limited facilities.
“The SIS cannot perform every duty. We are only doing a civilian job to collect intelligence. We cannot arrest people,” witness informed the Commission.
Witness said that since 2015, information on Sri Lankans who had joined the Islamic State (IS) organisation, the IS ideologues and many other related matters regarding national security had been reported to the then Inspectors General of Police, N. K. Illangakoon and Pujith Jayasundara and senior government officials, on a number of occasions.
Jayawardena said that after 2017, the biggest challenge that the country faced during his tenure as SIS Director, was Islamic State ideology, activities related to it and religious extremism.
Highlighting the several incidents which occurred with regard to the spreading of racism and extremism, Jayawardena said that several organisations had used these conflicts to spread racism in the country.
Jayawardena also submitted several presentations prepared by him for the former IGPs on the spread of IS ideology in Sri Lanka, to the Commission.