- I have discussed in detail about several groups that joined the organisation
By Yoshitha Perera
Information with regard to the number of Sri Lankans, who had joined IS organisation, including Abdul Latif Jameel Mohamed who exploded himself at Tropical Inn lodge in Dehiwala, was discussed at National Security Council (NSC) meetings attended by former President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in or around December 2016, former Director of the State Intelligence Service (SIS), Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (SDIG), Nilantha Jayawardena said.
Jayawardena informed the Commission that he had also taken steps to discuss a number of matters related to ISIS ideologies in Sri Lanka and the potential impact on the country during the weekly intelligence review meetings in 2015 and 2016.
He further said that by the year 2016, Sri Lanka had been declared a part of the Islamic State (Qurasan) by the IS organisation.
“I have discussed in detail about several groups that had left Sri Lanka to join the IS organisation. Among them were Jameel Mohamed and a person who had left for Turkey with his entire family including his wife, parents and six children. Later it was learned that his parents had returned to Sri Lanka and were living in the Dehiwala area,” he said.
The witness also said that although he had inquired from the Turkish Embassy in Sri Lanka as to why such a large group had not been questioned about leaving for Turkey, he had not received a proper reply and added that there may be more individuals who have joined the IS organisation and returned to Sri Lanka, but have not yet been arrested.
Meanwhile, a member of the Commission questioned SDIG Jayawardena as to what was the response of the President, the Prime Minister and other senior officials to the relevant issues discussed at the NSC meetings.
Responding to the question he said that answering that question in public could cause him certain personal problems. Therefore, he requested the Commission to give him another opportunity to comment on the matter.
Witness also informed the Commission that when sharing intelligence with the previous ‘Yahapalana’ government the SIS had followed a middle path, since the government was a formation of two major political parties.
- Jayawardena informed the Commission that he had also taken steps to discuss a number of matters related to ISIS ideologies in Sri Lanka