Army Commander to appear before probe committee

Army Commander Lt General Mahesh Senanayake, former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and the Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce will depose before the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the Easter attacks tomorrow, officials say.

They said Senanayake will appear before the committee but it is not known whether the Media will be allowed to cover his testimony.

The PSC is now permitting those summoned before it to testify in-camera.

Chief of State Intelligence Service Senior Deputy Inspector General (SDIG) Nilantha Jayawardena will also be summoned at a later date.

Jayawardena’s testimony will be key to the investigation as he is the person responsible for giving daily Intelligence briefings to President Maithripala Sirisena.

The Committee can find out whether the foreign Intelligence report predicting the attacks had been presented to Sirisena.

In the three weeks or so of the hearings some startling information has already been revealed.

Both Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundera and former Secretary to the Ministry of Defense Hemasiri Fernando said that the President wanted the IGP and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe excluded from Security Council meetings.

Wickremesinghe is also due to appear before the PSC.

The Islamic extremist National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) carried out the Easter Sunday massacre where seven suicide bombers struck worshippers in churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa and three five star hotels in the capital killing over 250 people including 40 foreigners.

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