Sri Lanka was still under threat from global terrorists though the country was fast returning to normal after the Easter Sunday carnage, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today.
Making a special statement in Parliament, the Prime Minister said new laws such as Counter-Terrorism Bill was needed to fight global terrorism.
“One should remember that Sri Lanka is yet to overcome the terrorist threats. This is because Sri Lanka had become a victim of global terrorism,” he said.
“These terrorists will try different tactics to harm Sri Lanka through the locals who have associated with them have been apprehended. We should crush these terrorists. This is a challenge which we should overcome. It is necessary to bring in new laws such as Counter-Terrorism Bill to overcome it,” the Prime Minister said.
“We have already received support the several international intelligence services. We need such help. Some allege that we are planning to get military support. This is not going to happen,” he added.
“The Government has taken all possible steps to restore normalcy. Turnout in schools has been low on Monday. I have asked the Minister of Education to provide a report on it to me. We hope the situation in schools would be back to normal soon. Services were held in some churches during the last few days. Prayers were held in mosques as well. Security will be provided to all these institutions,” he also said.
“There are some Sri Lankans who had migrated to Syria after IS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi declared an Islamic State and wanted the Muslims to migrate to Syria and Iraq.
“They have travelled to Syria through Turkey. Mohamed Mushin Ishaq Ahamed, Mohammed U Mohammed Ameen, Mohammed Zuhair Mohammed Aroos, have migrated to Syria and had joined ISIS.
“There are no reports of Sri Lankan Muslims who had trained in ISIS camps in Afghanistan. However, there have been reports on Sri Lankan Muslims going to Syria and undergoing military training in and returning to the island. Intelligence units, security forces and police are conducting investigations on it. Mohammed Ibrahim, Sadith Abdul Haq who had been arrested had revealed that he had gone to Syria and had undergone training,
“Abdul Latif Mohammed Jameel who blew himself up in Dehiwala had also returned to Sri Lanka after travelling to Turkey with the objective of reaching Syria,” he revealed.
It has been also revealed that the first Sri Lankan to join ISIS Mohammed M. Safras had gone to Syria together with his aged parents. They have returned to Sri Lanka in 2016. Intelligence units are currently carrying out investigations on their activities.
He said basic compensation has been paid to the relatives of 102 persons who died and 42 persons who were injured in the Katuwapitiya, Batticaloa and Kochchikade church explosions. The churches are being renovated by the security forces.(Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)