The Chairman of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing the Easter Sunday attacks has told President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that he had reasons to believe that certain officials had prepared forged documents in order to cover the failure led to the terror attacks.
Chairman of the five-member Commission, Court of Appeal Judge Janaka de Silva made this observation when the PCoI members met the President last evening.
Chairman Janaka de Silva who explained the scope and the composition of the Commission briefed President Rajapaksa on the progress made so far.
“The Chairman said prior information received about an impending attack had not been taken seriously by the relevant officials. He said that he had reasons to believe that certain officials have prepared forged documents in order to cover this aspect of the story,” the President’s Media Division said.
It said President Rajapaksa emphasised the need to identify roots and modalities of the attack and to bring those who were responsible before the law. The President said that His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith was also of the same view in this connection.
“When I was the Defence Secretary, the Security Council met regularly. The security situation was continuously reviewed with intelligence officers. If there was any information that threatened national security necessary action was taken in no time. That was how we were able to deport 160 preachers who were propagating extremist ideas”, the President has said.
He said the lackadaisical attitude towards national security prevailed during the previous administration led to the gradual collapse of the intelligence mechanism. “As a result, the spread of Islamic extremism could not be contained,” President Rajapaksa said.
While stressing that all information relating to the Easter Sunday attacks must be uncovered, the President requested the PCoI to make recommendations to prevent recurrence of such tragedies. The President also reiterated the need to expose everyone behind this sinister process.
President Rajapaksa offered to provide all the necessary facilities required by the Commission.
Other members of the Commission are Court of Appeal Judge Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne, Retired Court of Appeal Judge Nihal Sunil Rajapaksha, retired HC Judge Bandula Kumara Atapattu and former Secretary to the Ministry of Justice W. M. M. Adikari. (Lahiru Pothmulla)