Easter Sunday terror attacks: Some intel only conveyed to Sirisena – IGP
By Hansi Nanayakkara
IGP Chandana D. Wickremaratne giving evidence before the three-Judge Bench of the Colombo High Court as a witness in connection with the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks case, said yesterday that the political climate under the previous Government had been such that certain intelligence information had only been conveyed to then President Maithripala Sirisena due to a close nexus that had existed between the former President and the head of the SIS.
The IGP gave evidence for the first time as a witness for the prosecution in the case filed against his predecessor Pujith Jayasundera who has been charged with failure to prevent the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks, complicity to murder and dereliction of duty.
The case was convened for a fifth successive day yesterday, before a Bench comprising High Court Judges Namal Balalle, Adithya Patabendige and Mohammad Irshadeen. Wickremaratne responding to cross examination by the defence said that the then head of the SIS ought to have conveyed all intelligence information received by him to the Commanders of the three armed forces.
The lawyer then inquired from the IGP whether he was aware that the head of the SIS should have apprised the three armed forces Commanders regarding the intelligence information received by him. Wickremaratne told Court that it should have been undertaken by the SIS head as part of his official duty. The Bench then inquired from witness as to whom the head of the SIS should convey information received related to terror attacks? Witness replied that such information could be conveyed to the Security Council, the Defence Ministry, Defence Secretary, IGP and three armed forces heads.
First witness to the trial former head of SIS Nilantha Jayawardene giving evidence had informed the Court that till 20 April 2019 no intelligence report had been submitted to him regarding a terror attack to be conveyed to the former IGP and had insisted that only details pertaining to NTJ leader Zahran Hashim had been conveyed to the then IGP. Jayawardene made these remarks when cross examined by Attorney Roshan Dehiwela who appeared on behalf of accused, former IGP Jayasundera. Further proceedings were fixed from 18 to 21 January next year.