Ex-IGP: Easter carnage caused by system failure

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Everyone in power during the Easter Sunday attacks should take responsibility for failing  to prevent the incident as it was clearly a system failure, former IGP Pujith Jayasundara yesterday told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks.

Jayasundara said that the attacks could have been prevented if the Minister of Defence at that time, President Maithripala Sirisena, and the National Security Council (NSC), had acted appropriately on the information provided by the State Intelligence Service (SIS),warning of a possible terrorist attack. The SIS had received the information on 04 April 2019.

President’s Counsel Anil Silva appearing for former President Sirisena, Attorney- at-Law Upul Kumarapperuna appearing for former SDIG of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Ravi Seneviratne and former CID Director Shani Abeysekera, and Attorney- at- Law Madu Jayatilake appearing for former SIS Director SDIG Jayawardena crossexamined the witness.

Jayasundara said that when former SIS Director SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena sent him a report on 09 April 2019 warning of the attacks, he had contacted the relevant officials over the phone and informed them.  He added that he had forwarded the report to SDIG of Western Province, Nandana Munasinghe, SDIG crimes and STF M.R. Latif, DIG special protection range Priyalal Dassanayake and Director of the Terrorism Investigation Division, Waruna Jayasundara and spoken to them over the phone. Jayasundara said that he had also phoned all SDIGs in charge of provinces.

“I gave all of them specific instructions on what to do. But when investigators checked my mobile records, the details of these records were gone. President Sirisena’s brother headed Mobitel at that time. What happened to these call logs must be investigated.”

The former IGP added that SIS had tapped his phone and had deployed officers opposite his house. “Intelligence agents were monitoring my movements. They were right outside my house. I was the IGP.”

The representative of the Attorney General’s Department who led evidence also said that there were no records of the calls which, Jayasundara said, he had made to senior police officers on April 9, 2019 after receiving foreign intelligence on a possible terror attack.

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