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Attacks of this magnitude were not expected: Defence Secy.

23 April 2019 12:29 am - 25     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando said yesterday the Defence Ministry never expected an attack of this magnitude except for some isolated incidents in certain places.

Asked about the government being privy to intelligence on imminent terrorist attacks, Fernando maintained that the information received was unclear.

Speaking to the media following a visit to the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, Fernando said "Intelligence never indicated that it's going to be an attack of this magnitude. They were talking about isolated incidents. Besides, there is no emergency in this country. We cannot request the armed forces to come and assist as, we can only depend on the police." He said all departments of the police had been informed and alerted.

Responding to allegations that the Sri Lankan people have been failed by the intelligence services, Fernando said Sri Lanka had experienced similar tragic situations, despite security checks in place.

"It's not the first time a bomb went off in this country. During the height of the war, when emergency regulations were in force and road blocks installed at every two kilometers, bombs went off. Why are you trying to isolate this unfortunate incident?"

The Secretary confirmed that Sri Lankan authorities will receive the assistance of the FBI, Interpol and Australian Police in the investigations into Sunday's deadly attacks that claimed 290 lives. He said that he was unable to divulge information as it would hamper ongoing investigations. "The FBI is here today and the Interpol will arrive tomorrow," he said.

Commenting on the state of the country's security Fernando said many countries have faced similar security issues in the past. "It happened in New Zealand, unexpectedly. We need to make sure that similar things will not take place in the future," he said.

He added that discussions were held with the President and Prime Minister to avert similar incidents. "I can't take confidence with terrorism. No country in the world can assure that it's not going to happen. But we're trying our best. We wish to uncover every link into this incident," he said.

The Secretary of Defence also cautioned the public to remain calm and peaceful and to let the armed forces, police and the government to handle the situation. (Kalani Kumarasinghe)

  Comments - 25

  • Rnrn Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:44 AM

    This man is not even 1% of Gota....

    raj Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:47 AM

    how can you ignore if threats were from Islamic terrorist? It is too late. the government should have acted promptly by increasing security during the Easter holidays to all churches and tourist hotels.

    Raj Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:52 AM

    Well then you were expecting a couple of stones being thrown at a church / hotel?

    DHA Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:54 AM

    The Intel info was "unclear" ? What an irresponsible statement what do you expect ? The terrorists to come to you personally and say we are going to bomb this area at this date ? I feel you and this GOV should step down if you'll can't protect the people who gave you power to rule then might as well give it to someone who can !!!

    Dr. Uwe Ludt Ph.D. Tuesday, 23 April 2019 01:05 AM

    I am a German Citizen (nationality by birth) and lived for more then 25 years in Sri Lanka...My heartfelt sympathy to the peoples of Sri Lanka and my sincerest condolences***MIND MY WORDS:::TODAY THE CHRISTIANS***TOMORROW THE BUDDHISTS***...Hope your Nation showing the suitable answer to all involved and supporting Moslems with merciless hardship...Dr.U.L.

    Nanda Tuesday, 23 April 2019 01:05 AM

    He is not fit to be a defence secretary. He must resign now for the foolish comments made to the media.

    Manu Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:12 AM

    What the hell he is talking now. his biggest failure. This man and the govt. must resign immediately for not taking any steps to prevent the attack even after being warned of such an attack.

    Manu Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:16 AM

    This shows this man is has not worthy of this post. One cannot think of how small or big will be terrorist attacks can.

    Aru Chan Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:20 AM

    Attacks of what magnitude were you expecting then? This is the result of wrong people being appointed to the wrong positions. Idiots are not fit to rule a country or protect its people. If intelligence reports were taken seriously hundreds of deaths could have been prevented. Remember that you and your boss have to take responsibility for so many people being blasted to bits. You'll cannot talk shop and wriggle out of it. Please go home if you cannot perform your duties properly and do not fatten yourselves on the taxpayers' money.

    Sanje Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:27 AM

    In my life I did two mistakes. 1. was missed out overseas settle down opportunity. 2, was for voting for MY3. This is what you get .. I feel so sorry for my country....

    Thimothy Joseph Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:28 AM

    Please someone file a case against these rascals who ignored all warning and a primarily responsible for the loss of 300 plus innocent lives.

    Mark Anandappa Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:32 AM

    Wondering to laugh or to cry for the safety of its citizen.

    manik de alwis Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:33 AM

    This joker should resign forthwith. What an idiotic statement from a Defense Sec. How can this man close to his eighties have such important positions like Secretary Defense, Chief of Staff to the president and Chairman BOI.

    Jeff Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:38 AM

    President Gotabaya Rajapakse You are the man of the hour! Save the nation

    Nava Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:00 PM

    It is on the advice of Defence Secretary emergency law is enforced by a government

    Nava Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:00 PM

    It is on the advice of Defence Secretary emergency law is enforced by a government

    Chamila Gunasekara Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:02 PM

    Nice answers by D/S, Can SL go ahead with this kind of people irresponsible Idiots ? Now Sri Lankans are hopeless...only way is just living as dummies...until end of life.

    Sunil Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:03 PM

    It is the general opinion of the people that you leave as soon as possible, with your two bosses, without giving further trouble to the people. Your statement yesterday to the BBC was absolutely stupid and unworthy of a very senior public official.

    Sunimal Jayasiri Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:27 PM

    Words from the Presidents choice for Defense Sec. after his failed coup in October 2018. Was appointed as BOI chairman on 23rd and as Sec to Ministry of Defense on 31st October 2018 - just after removing Ranil unconstitutionally

    Chris G Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:41 PM

    This certainly isn't a time for cheap political point scoring but there is no doubt it is the President who must answer to the people and in particular to the relatives of both Sri Lankan and visitors who trust our law enforcement agencies are capable of protecting them and came to Sri Lanka to enjoy their holidays. How could the excuse this man is offering ever justify the horror our negligent situation and the economy of the country?

    Gaalle Gamage Tuesday, 23 April 2019 01:42 PM

    both the Minister of Defense and the Secretary to Ministry of Defense do not seem to understand the meanings of "National Security" and "Threats to National Security".

    Mahinda hordagoda Tuesday, 23 April 2019 02:01 PM

    Gota please save our nation.The present president and Priminister and the cabinet is talking through their hats,

    P.J.S.Fernando Tuesday, 23 April 2019 02:04 PM

    There is a huge security lapse, our intelligence services have become weak which performed better during war time. There should be a foreign hand behind the whole episode. There is no connection between christian churches and the particular embassy concerned in the message of the warning, it reminds me the sinhala saying " Puhul hora karen denai"

    nilaksha abeywardena Tuesday, 23 April 2019 02:11 PM

    You should put a hankercheif down in front of the defence ministry and beg for forgiveness.

    Athula Harischandra Tuesday, 23 April 2019 05:55 PM

    He should go home immediately


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