Ranil to testify before PSC

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will testify before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday attacks and his appearance will be open to Media, official sources told RepublicNext.

These sources also said that Army Commander Lt General Mahesh Senanayake and Chief of State Intelligence Service Senior Deputy Inspector General (SDIG) Nilantha Jayawardena are among other high profile figures who will be summoned before the PSC.

The PM, the Army Commander, and the SIS Chief will be brought before the PSC “towards the end of the hearings,” these sources added.

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

Intelligence officers and serving Security Forces personnel have the option of testifying in-camera without the presence of the Media.

The PSC is investigating the circumstances surrounding the commissions and omissions surrounding the Easter Sunday attacks.

It will particularly try to find out as to why necessary precautions were not taken when there was credible intelligence that an attack was being planned by Islamic extremists against churches and hotels on this day.

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 President Maithripala Sirisena wanted the IGP and the Prime Minister excluded from Security Council meetings.

The PSC also heard from members of the Muslim community that they had informed various intelligence bodies in the country of the danger posed by the radical preacher Zaharan Hashim and his organisation the National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ).

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It was the Islamic State-inspired NTJ that carried out the Easter Sunday massacre where seven suicide bombers struck worshippers in churches in Colombo, Negombo, and Batticaloa as well as three five star hotels in the capital killing over 250 people including 40 foreigners.

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