PCoI on Easter Sunday attack: Controlling Islamist Extremist Acts No Easy Task – Sirisena
By Buddhika Samaraweera
Controlling Islamist extremist activities was not an easy task during the tenure of the UNF-led Government because Muslim politicians did not pay proper attention to controlling activities of such organisations, claimed former President Maithripala Sirisena.
He was testifying, on 12 October, before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings.
An ASG asked him whether extremist activities were discussed at the National Security Council (NSC) and other discussions. In response, witness said, agencies such as the State Intelligence Service and the Directorate of Military Intelligence had discussed such matters.
However, he said, the manner in which foreign Embassies, various organisations and the Muslim Lawyers Association acted when investigations were being conducted on Islamist extremist activities showed that there was international support for such activities. He added, the Government was facing very complex problems, especially due to the activities of Non-Governmental Organisations.
"Extremist organisations belonging to all religions, except Sinhala Buddhist, had the support of various foreign countries and institutions," he said addding that he had worked closely with religious leaders and other parties concerned, to resolve such issues.