Police Chief Must Go – Rajitha

The Government is demanding that Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundera step down or be removed because he did not heed warnings from foreign intelligence agencies about the Easter Sunday Massacre.

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne, addressing a press conference at Temple Trees in Colombo this morning (22), revealed that the warnings that were given by foreign intelligence agencies on April 4 had been accurate and detailed.

“However, these warnings were not shared with the Cabinet nor did the IGP take any precautions to protect the institutions that were threatened,” Senaratne said.

According to documents that were circulated yesterday and authenticated by Senaratne, the warning predicted that an organization called the National Thowheed Jamaath was planning the attacks on the Churches and said that they would be carried out by suicide bombers.

The warning had the names, the National Identity Card and phone numbers of some of the attackers. The names mentioned in the report included that of the alleged leader of the group Mohamed Cassim Mohamed Zaharan. Others named in the report include a former soldier called Badurdeen Mohamed Mohideen, Mohamad Milhan, and Zahran Hashmi.

On April 11, Deputy Inspector General of Police Priyalal Dasanayake wrote to officers in charge of VIP security with a Sinhala translation of the intelligence report which clearly said Christian Churches were to be the targets.

These documents were tweeted out by Minister Harin Fernando yesterday.

The attackers had been arrested after Buddha statues had been vandalized in the Mawanella area, Highways Minister Kabir Hashim told the same briefing.

Hashim said he and his staff had taken action against this group and one of his secretaries had been shot in the head by them.

However some of these “suspects arrested in this connection were released due to political pressure,” he added. He added that two of the suicide bombers were among this group.

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Hashim did not reveal who the politician behind the release was, but investigations are now on to find out how these suspects were released.

The same persons are believed to have been involved in the stash of 100 kilograms of C4 High Explosive found by CID officers in Wanathavilluwa on January 17 this year, where police believe the suspects were making small bombs.

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