ECONOMYNEXT – Former President Maithripala Sirisena is rejecting the notion that tensions within the Yahapalanaya administration led to the Easter Sunday bombings which killed over 200 people and severely damaged Sri Lanka’s economy.
Speaking to reporters after deposing before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the 2019 suicide bombings, yesterday, Sirisena said that previous evidence given before the commission by the former DIG CID Ravi Seneviratne revealed that the attack could have taken place in 2017.
“Therefore I reject the idea that these attacks took place because of the tensions within the administration,” he said.
Simmering tensions between Sirisena and his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe grew into a crisis in October 2018 when the President sacked the PM and appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place.
Eventually, Rajapaksa could not cobble together a majority in Parliament and Sirisena’s efforts to dissolve Parliament failed after the courts ruled against the move.
The former president also said that the terror attacks carried out by the Muslim extremist National Thowheed Jamaat led by Zaharan Hashim “were planned and ordered from overseas.”
Initial investigations into the attacks had not revealed any foreign connections to the strikes although the so-called Islamic State did claim responsibility.
At the time Police said none of the attackers had travelled into IS-controlled areas in Syria.
Zaharan was among the suicide attackers, most of whom were from Colombo-based middle and upper-middle-class families. (Colombo, November 26, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana