Namal Kumara was paid by Sirisena’s office
By Buddhika Samaraweera
Namal Kumara, who exposed an alleged plan to assassinate former President Maithripala Sirisena and current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in 2018, had been paid by former President Sirisena’s office, said former IGP Pujith Jayasundara.
He also said special inquiries should be made regarding the person who detonated a suicide bomb at the Tropical Inn Lodge in Dehiwala. Jayasundara testified before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the 2019, Easter Sunday bombings, on 9 October.
A Member of the Commission queried whether the information received, that a group including the Leader of the National Thowheed Jama’ath, Zaharan Hashim could launch a terror attack, that was considered as very important and as to why Sirisena was not informed in that connection when he went abroad on 16 April 2019.
In responding, Jayasundara said: “The statement made by Sirisena before the Commission that I had boarded the flight that day and greeted him was completely untrue. There were occasions when I did so during the period when Sirisena was friendly with me. But by 2019, he even looked at me in disgust.”
He further said, he as much as possible took steps to obtain the approval of Sirisena, which was needed for various matters, through the then Defence Secretary and the Secretary to the President.
A Commissioner again questioned him as to whether Sirisena was lying in that manner, to which the witness said that Sirisena used to lie as a habit. He added that there are many examples of such instances. “He said that I had gone to wish him for the Sinhala and Hindu New Year and that I had been staying there for about two hours. But that too is a complete lie. I was there only for about 10 minutes on that day. I didn’t have lunch there as he mentioned. As a matter of custom, I went to greet the Head of State,” the witness said.
Jayasundara also said that the basis on which an unqualified person like Kumara received a salary from the Presidential Secretariat should be investigated. “The former Director of the Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention, Dr. Samantha Kithalawaarachchi, which was active at the time, told me that Kumara was paid by the Task Force too,” he said.
He further said that there were several other Governors and Presidential Advisers who had received such privileges from the President.
Meanwhile, Jayasundara said that Kumara was given a reward of Rs 500,000 from the Police Rewards Fund for providing information needed to arrest several suspects involved in the riots in Digana.