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Easter Sunday probe SL still did not receive details pertaining to actual foreign links: Former CDS

7 December 2020 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • The backbone of the intelligence services had been broken during the previous ‘Yahapalana’ government

By Yoshitha Perera   

Sri Lanka still did not receive the details pertaining to actual foreign links behind the Easter Sunday terror attack, former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Ravindra Wijegunaratne on Saturday informed the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing Easter Sunday attacks.    

Testifying before the Commission former CDS Wijegunaratne said that as per his experience, the leader of any terrorist organisation does not die first and there was a handler who manages the whole suicide squad.   
“If you look at the individuals on the video which Zahran released before the terror attack, that declare their loyalty to the religion and the group leader; it clearly indicates that there was a woman in that video,” he said.   


Responding to the questions raised by the representative from the Attorney General’s (AG) Department regarding to the foreign intelligence received several times before the attack, the witness said that former State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director had followed a ‘lookup policy’ when informing about the intelligence.   


“Former SIS Director had only informed the intelligence to the higher officials above him, he didn’t inform it to the ground level officers who could have taken actionable measures related to facts mentioned at the intelligence,” former CDS said.   


The witness said that former SIS Director tried to inform the foreign intelligence to the former President, but he failed to inform it to the heads of the tri-forces.   


Meanwhile, when Commissioners questioned the witness regarding the dry run by detonating a bomb set on a motor bicycle in Palamunai on April 16, 2019, former CDS said that the incident was done deliberately to mislead the Sri Lankan people.   
“No one can learn about making bombs within two weeks. There has to be proper training when creating such explosives. That’s why I’m saying we still didn’t receive the actual background of the all these tragic incidents,” he said.   


The witness also added that the backbone of the intelligence services had been broken during the previous ‘Yahapalana’ government and the whole intelligence network was inactive.   


“That was why we had missed the most important intelligence on the possible terror attack. Our ground level intelligence sources were weak during the previous government’s tenure,” he said.   


The Commissioner then questioned the witness regarding to the steps he could have taken as the former CDS to prevent such situation, if he was informed before the attacks.   


Responding to the question former CDS said that his office had the power to assist the combine operations and he could not work beyond that.   


The Commissioner also questioned the witness Zahran’s flee to India from Silavathurai, an area near to the Navy Camp, in March 2019. Responding to the question the witness said that lot of small boats were engaged in fishing from that area and it was easy to go to India by using those small boats.   

 

  • Witness said that former State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director had followed a ‘lookup policy’ when informing about the intelligence
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