A large number of terrorists had already been arrested, out of which, 12 were hard-core members, President Maithirpala Sirisena told Parliament today.
He said that 13 safe houses belonging to those who were responsible for the Easter Sunday carnage had been taken over by the security forces, while 41 bank accounts belonging to the terror group have been freezed.
Speaking during the debate on Easter Sunday attacks in the House, the President said that all terrorists who were connected to the Easter Sunday attacks would be arrested within the next three days.
The President also revealed that the terror groups had paid Rs 2 million to each, who had provided minimum support to them. He said forces had recovered a total of Rs 18 million of these funds.
“I have done the maximum to enable security forces to carry out operations after the attacks on April 21 2019. I have taken steps to reorganize the intelligence services and the Police,” he said.
“Police did not have the power even to confiscate illicit liquor before I took over the Law and Order Ministry under my purview,” he said.
The President lauded his predecessor, Leader of Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa, for providing proposals on reorganizing the security establishments.
He said other political leaders should also provide proposals on the action that could be taken to crush terrorism. He said it is time to stop pointing fingers at each other.
“Some attack me as if I am the leader of the terror groups, which wreaked havoc on Easter Sunday. Everyone should understand that I am the sixth Executive President of this country. It should be noted that bombs went off even during the tenures of five former Executive Presidents. We lived through bomb explosions during the 30-year old war,” he said.
President recalled that it took some time for him to get to know that the Easter Sunday attacks had been carried out by an international terror group.
“I spoke to my Secretary from Singapore as soon as I was told about the attacks and briefed him what to do. I also talked to the Prime Minister over the phone that day. I summoned the Security Council meetings several times and invited Prime Minister and religious leader such as Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith to participate,” he further said.
Mr Sirisena mentioned that the world was facing terrorism today and it was not an issue faced by Sri Lanka alone.
“No one can predict as to when global terrorists would strike. Not even President Trump, President Putin or Prime Minister Modi could predict when the global terrorists strike,” he stressed.(Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)