BY Thameenah Razeek
Former head of State Intelligence SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena should be held accountable for failing to take necessary action to prevent Easter Sunday terror attacks in 2019, despite receiving multiple warnings in advance, Mohan Weerakoon, PC claimed.
Referring to Court records, Weerakoon PC claimed that SDIG Jayawardena noted, in his testimony in Court,that the information he received from Indian Intelligence on 3 April 2019 was ‘not’ intelligence information.
“A single officer’s error resulted in the deaths of over 250 people and the injuries of over 500 others. The tragic attacks occurred because this officer did not regard the information as intelligence material,” he said, holding Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena responsible for the attacks.
Weerakoon also alleged that after reviewing the investigation material, it is reasonable to assume that the SDIG did not even inform the then President of this matter, and that SDIG Jayawardena acted on the information because of his position, and Sri Lanka’s Intelligence Services were operating under such a person.
Addressing the media yesterday (19) at Presidential Media Centre, Weerakoon PC claimed that it has also been revealed that SDIG Jayawardena did not inform the President about the information he received in order to avoid being sacked.
He noted that then IGP Pujith Jayasundara acted on the letter and informed everyone about the information.
“SDIG Jayawardena claims that on 7 April, he addressed letters to the IGP, the Chief of National Intelligence, and others regarding this, and on 9 April, Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) Sisira Mendis sent a letter to the IGP directing him to take the necessary action. During cross-examination, SDIG Jayawardena stated that the information became intel material on the evening of 20 April 2019,” he said.
Further, he claimed that when questioned about it, SDIG Jayawardena responded by saying that the person who sent the information on 4 April sent him another WhatsApp message on 20 April.
“When asked if he made any attempt to verify the information between 4 April and 20 April, Senior DIG Jayawardena replied in the negative. When asked why he did not reveal the information at the Intelligence Review Meeting on 9 April, SDIG Jayawardena said he referred it to the Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) Sisira Mendis. The Intelligence Review Meeting must be led by the Head of State Intelligence,” said PC Weerakoon, adding that SDIG Jayawardena did not lead the meeting.
In addition, he claimed that SDIG Jayawardena, told him that if the attacks did not occur after he was informed about them and a curfew was imposed in the country, he would be forced to resign.