Sri Lankan President Vows to Block Easter Attack Probe

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said he will not cooperate with the Easter suicide bombings probe.

Published08 Jun 2019, 07:15 AM IST
World
2 min read

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena told his cabinet on Saturday, 8 June, that he will not cooperate with the parliamentary investigation into security lapses leading to the Easter suicide bombings.

The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) has been probing the 21 April attacks that killed 258 people and wounded nearly 500.

A ministerial source told AFP that Sirisena has refused to allow any police, military or intelligence personnel to testify before the committee, reported Dhaka Tribune. The president is also the minister of Defence and Law and Order.

He had called for an emergency cabinet meeting that “ended inconclusively.” “The government did not agree to suspend the PSC either,” said the media report.

Just last week, Sirisena's intelligence chief Sisira Mendis exposed that the president had failed to hold regular security review meetings to assess potential threats from Islamic radicals. However, halfway through his testimony, the live telecast of the proceedings were stopped on Sirisena's orders, official sources said, reported Gulf News.

Sirisena's defense secretary and police have hinted that the president is not following protocol in dealing with intelligence reports.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Sri Lanka on Sunday. He will be the first foreign dignitary to visit the country since the bombings. Modi’s itinerary includes meeting Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan.

“My visit to Sri Lanka is to express our solidarity with the Government and the people of Sri Lanka in the wake of the terrible terrorist attacks there last Easter on 21 April 2019. India stands with Sri Lanka in the fight against terrorism,” Modi said in a statement.

(With inputs from Gulf News, Dhaka Tribune)

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