Amid reports of the government's failure to act on specific intelligence on Easter Sunday’s bomb attacks, information has now surfaced that the defence authorities had also ignored Turkish government alerts that 50 members of the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) had arrived in Sri Lanka.
There was an attempted coup to overthrow the Turkish government and unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 15, 2016. The Turkish government blamed FETO, a terrorist outfit led by Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen as having carried out the coup in which 250 people were killed.
Later, FETO terrorists fled to different countries. The Turkish embassy has repeatedly informed the Sri Lankan government about this matter.
Turkish Ambassador Tunca Özçuhadar handed over documents related to the matters communicated to Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairman G.L. Peiris.
He brought this to the notice of President Maithripala Sirisena when he met him with a delegation led by Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday to discuss the security situation in the country.
Prof. Peiris said FETO terrorists had fled to Denmark, Austria and some African countries. He said Turkey had alerted all these countries and that their authorities had taken prompt action but not so the Sri Lankan defence authorities.
When asked about the President’s response he said the President had not contradicted him. (Kelum Bandara)