By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana
A telephone conversation between the Shangri-La Hotel bomber and his wife on April 21 reveals the series of explosions had been carried out in retaliation to Christchurch mosque shootings and harassment against Muslims, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene told Parliament yesterday.
Speaking during the emergency debate held yesterday, he said the CID managed to tap a telephone conversation between the Shangri-La Hotel bomber and his wife just before the attack was launched.
“I had the opportunity of listening to the phone conversation where he clearly states the attacks on April 21 were in retaliation to harassment against Muslims including the attack on the Christchurch mosque. He also talks about harassment against Syrian Muslims and the plight of Rohingya in Myanmar. He clearly states that the attack he was going to launch was in retaliation of all these. Zahran’s group had been following the ideologies of ISIS though it did not have direct links with the terror group,” he said.
On a different note, he said the government decided to extend emergency for another month following the advice of defence officers. Besides, he said emergency was needed because of the Kandy Perahera and Madhu Feast which are to be held in the month of August.