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PCoI on Easter Sunday attacks: SIS director did not seek my advice: CNI director

15 September 2020 08:11 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Former Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) Director Sisira Mendis informed the Commission probing the Easter Sunday attacks that even though he had served in this post before the terror attack on April 21, 2019, the then State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director Nilantha Jayawardena never sought any advice from him.

He told the Commission that the former SIS director only had a professional work relationship with the Defence Secretary.

When the Commissioners asked about the foreign intelligence report received on April 4, 2019 of a possible terror attack, Mr. Mendis said he had received the report on April 8, 2019.

"I received the intelligence report titled 'Top Secret' in the morning of April 8 and it mentioned an imminent attack by the National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) led by Zahran Hashim," he said.

A representative from the Attorney General's department asked the witness whether he had taken any action in the light of the information received on April 8.

Mr. Mendis said though he tried to meet fromer defense secretary Hemasiri Fernando as soon as he received the report, the DS was busy meeting the Indian Defense Secretary.

However, he said he had met Mr. Fernando the same afternoon and informed him about the intelligence provided by the SIS Director.

Meanwhile, Commissioners asked the witness why the relevant information was not included in the agenda of the April 9 Intelligence Coordination Meeting.

Mr. Mendis said the relevant information was not specifically included in the agenda as the officers who had received intelligence would traditionally discuss their information at the intelligence coordination meetings.

The representative from the AG's department then asked whether Mr. Jayawardena had telephoned Mr. Mendis on April 8.

"Mr. Jayawardena called me on April 8 afternoon and asked about the relevant intelligence about Zahran. He also said this could be a political issue because there was information that a politician's brother involved in the illegal deportation of Zahran," he said.

However, Mr. Mendis added that Mr. Jayewardene had not told him the identity of the informant who had sent the original intelligence and he had learned it was sent by a foreign intelligence agent after hearing the evidence of the Presidential Commission.(Yoshitha Perera)


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