Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday raised in Parliament the issue of the police’s failure to stop the Easter Sunday attacks despite intelligence inputs.
Easter attack in Sri Lanka (PTI- File Photo)
Intelligence was provided to Colombo by India regarding the suicide bombings on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka in 2019. But the Sri Lankan Police failed to take action only after this. At the same time, now the issue of the failure of the police to act on intelligence information was raised by the country’s former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament on Monday. 270 people including 11 Indians were killed in this attack.
Nine suicide bombers belonging to the National Thowheed Jamaat, a local Islamic extremist group affiliated with ISIS, detonated a series of bombings on three Catholic churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on 21 April 2019. 270 people died in these blasts while more than 500 people were injured. In parliament, Wickremesinghe said Harin Fernando, a minister in his government at the time, told him after the attacks that Fernando’s father had warned his sister not to attend Easter Sunday prayers because there could be problems that day. .
Catholic Church wrote a letter to the government regarding action against Wickremesinghe
Accusing the police of not acting on intelligence provided by India about the impending suicide bombing attack in the island nation, Wickremesinghe asked, “When the police did not act on Indian intelligence, could they provide information about Harin Fernando? take action on Last week, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the head of the Catholic Church, urged the government to take action against Wickremesinghe for failing to stop the attacks as prime minister.
What did the Catholic Church write in the letter?
Cardinal Ranjit had said that he was found guilty of failing to stop the attacks in an investigation launched by the then President Maithripala Sirisena into the attack. Similarly, during the investigation, Wickremesinghe was also found guilty of being soft on the growing Islamic extremism in the country, the cardinal said. In a 10-page letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Church reminded that the Commission of Inquiry had recommended the initiation of criminal proceedings against former President Sirisena for failing to discharge his duties.
It was said from the Church that it has been five months since the report of the investigation came, but till now no action has been taken against Sirisena. The letter expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of seriousness in the investigation to bring the guilty under the purview of the law, while demanding accountability for intelligence failure. The government denied any laxity in the investigation, saying that around 700 people have been arrested and proper legal process is being followed.
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