PCoI on Easter Sunday attacks
By Yoshitha Perera
Although former State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena said the SIS lacked facilities during the previous administration, the former ‘Yahapalana’ government had provided enormous facilities including unaudited financial aid to the SIS, former IGP Pujith Jayasundara yesterday informed the PCoI probing the Easter Sunday attacks.
Testifying before the Commission Mr. Jayasundara said the following financial assistance provided to the SIS could not be traced; even by referring to the Defence Ministry’s documents.
He said that former President Maithripala Sirisena and former SIS Director Jayawardena had a very close relationship and the SIS had always shared intelligence with the former President.
“Once at an Intelligence Coordination Meeting, Mr. Jayawardena had received two calls from the former President. That was one simple instance which I can mention before this commission to prove that they had close connections,” he said.
When the Commissioners questioned the witness regarding the incidents that occurred within the day of Easter Sunday attacks, Mr. Jayasundara said he had received a call from the former President around 9.15 am.
“When I answered the call, the President said he was not informed about prior warnings regarding the attack and the IGP and the Defence Secretary have to take responsibility for the attack,” he said.
The witness said it was stressful working with the former President and there was no one to inform these matters. He said although there were some conflicts within the communities before the coordinated terror attacks, the former Government did not want to impose emergency law or road blocks.
“The government always considered reconciliation but there were so many issues in the country, which we as officials had to manage before the Easter Sunday terror attacks,” he said. The witness admitted that even former President Sirisena had verbally asked him not to conduct any open inquiry regarding Islamic extremism, as the then IGP had given instructions to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to conduct an open inquiry regarding the vandalising Buddha statues in Mawanella in December, 2018. After Mr. Jayasundara making the following statement the Commissioners questioned the witness as to why why he had act beyond the former President’s orders. The former IGP said it was a terrible experience to work with the former President because he never gave proper orders on any matter.