By Yoshitha Perera
The State Intelligence Service (SIS) had the authority to alert churches, hotels and relevant sectors that handled national security about the imminent terror attacks, after receiving the confirmed foreign intelligence on April 20, 2019, former acting Director of SIS ASP Parakarama Lankapura informed the PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks.
Testifying before the Commission on Wednesday the former acting Director said that the SIS also had the discretion to inform about the imminent terror attack to Malcom Cardinal Ranjith and other religious leaders.
"From information received on the evening of April 20, 2019, it is clear that the attackers could have targeted Catholic churches and hotels," he said.
The witness further added that institutions such as the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) and the office of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) could have been notified as soon as possible.
He also added that the information could have been disseminated through the media after receiving the confirmed intelligence from a foreign counterpart.
"The SIS had maintained a large amount of intelligence pertaining to National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) and its leader Zahran Hashim," the witness said.
The witness said it was questionable why former SIS Director Nilantha Jayawardena had failed to obtain advice from former Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) Sisira Mendis regarding the foreign intelligence despite being an officer with years of experience.