The government today admitted that foreign intelligence authorities warned of imminent terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday.
Heath Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told a press conference that foreign intelligence authorities alerted the local defence agencies even ten minutes before attacks.
“These intelligence authorities have informed, from time to time, starting from April 4, 48 hours before the attacks and finally ten minutes before tragedy struck. They gave warnings about a possible attack on April 4 for the first time. Thereafter, National Intelligence Chief Sisira Mendis, on behalf of the Defence Secretary, had informed the Inspector General Police (IGP) about the imminent attacks. He had actually informed that an organisation called ‘Thowheed Jamath’ planned suicide attacks and had even mentioned their names.
“He had informed that Thowheed Jamath leaders Zaran Hashmi, Jalhal Hital, Sajit Moulawi and Silhan had arrived in Sri Lanka to carry out the coordinated attacks. Then, DIG Priyalal Dassanayake had informed the ministerial security division (MSD), judicial security division, security divisions in charge of former presidents and the Diplomatic Security Unit. However, he had failed to warn the Prime Ministerial Security Division (PMSD) and the Presidential Security Division (PSD) on the attacks. Although the Security Council meetings had been convened after last December, council member and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was never invited,” he said.
The minister said there was none to give political leadership during the tragedy as the president hadn’t appointed an Acting Defence Minister prior to his overseas visit. He said the Prime Minister called for a meeting of the Security Council following the bombings, but none of the members attended it.
“The premier had then rushed to the Defence Ministry and called for a meeting but no one had turned up until the lapse of 20 minutes. He had to sit in the State Defence Minister’s room for some time. The Prime Minister had then called for another Security Council meeting in the afternoon, but none had showed up,” he said. He charged that they had declined to arrive following an order from the higher authorities.
When asked whether the ministers were of the opinion that the president should be held responsible for the disaster, Dr. Senaratne said they would not blame the president for it.
“The government will not move away from its responsibilities. It will do everything possible for the victims of the bomb attacks. Rs.100,000 will be paid to the families of those who died in the attacks. Later, Rs.1 million will be paid to them as compensation. A sum of Rs.100,000 will be paid to those injured,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said he would have warned all the hotels had he known about the attacks beforehand. “Unfortunately, I did not know anything about it,” he said. (Yohan Perera)
Peter Flak Monday, 22 April 2019 10:39 PM
The President is a Charlie, wasting tax payers money on overseas trips He has no clue as how the govt is run. He should have been fired on Oct 16 when he tried to put a false government. He has no shame and put up committes one after the other to investigate these tragic incidents. Can you imagine he want to be the President a second time without any scruples. These guys have no shame for the crimes they have committed in the government.
Adi Monday, 22 April 2019 10:42 PM
Yu Hwa Li Monday, 22 April 2019 10:48 PM
It appears that the authorities have failed miserably to act on the intelligence available to them. Had they acted so many lives could have been saved. Will the Govt. take full responsibility? Will any heads roll? Lee
Angel Monday, 22 April 2019 11:13 PM
There are posts on social media asking for water for patients at General Hospital and basic necessities like bed sheets, toothbrush, soap etc. Can the Minister and the authorities send their officials and FIRST provide these to the injured and also see to the immediate needs of the families of the injured
dan Monday, 22 April 2019 11:20 PM
You are the bugger who said months ago that there is no issue with security in the country and no threat from any radical group. Now no point in fingering at each other.
Raj Monday, 22 April 2019 11:55 PM
And we slept very well!!
Anton Anparasu Monday, 22 April 2019 11:56 PM
Shame on all Government ministers including the President and Prime Minister. You are all fighting for power. Why no action taken, when you received the intelligence from foreign country. Who is responsible for the lives of 290 people. With out shame you all coming and participating in press meeting. Any one taken morale responsibility and Resigned. No not in this wonderland.
Sarath Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:19 AM
This is very interesting - The Defence
Raj Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:21 AM
Now after everything happened, cheap attention seeking cowards one by one talking to reporters!
Rohantha Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:29 AM
What a state of affairs. After all this carnage, Rajitha is saying they cannot hold the President responsible even after admitting he has purposely side lined the PM after the coup. You should have a back bone ( PM n Rajitha as a senior minister) to tell the President where to get off without causing any more trouble for Sri Lanka due to his petty minded , short sighted selfish attitude. He may be the President but he is not Almighty God
Aiyo Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:25 AM
If the MSD was informed the Ministers would have been warned by their security units not to drop guard. How strange that non asked the PM whether the news was true. And then the PM would have known. Don t cover up . Your explanation is unacceptable.
Jaliya Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:32 AM
While no one is taking the PM seriously, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said he would have warned all hotels had he known about the attacks beforehand. “Unfortunately, I did not know anything about it,” he said. Yeah, he doesn't know his ass from his brain ... apparently, he didn't read the security memo either .. too busy grabbing lands from the elderly.
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