Sri Lanka President to block intelligence officers from Parliamentary probe
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has said that no serving intelligence officials would be allowed to testify before a parliamentary probe in to the failures leading up to the Easter Sunday blasts is prejudicial to Supreme Court proceeding into related matters.
President Sirisena had told a meeting of senior police officers that he would not allow serving intelligence officials to testify at the Parliamentary Select Committee.
He had also said the Attorney General had told him that the parliamentary hearings was prejudicial to several Supreme Court hearings.
President Sirisena had called an emergency cabinet meeting late Friday.
The PSC hearings had come up with puzzling information.
Police Chief Pujith Jayasundera has said that police terror investigators were told not to probe into radical Islamic organization by the State Intelligence Service about a year ago, because they were conducting their own secret operation.
The prior warnings about bombings had apparently being conveyed to Sri Lanka by Indian intelligence.
Sacked Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando had said that the head of State Intelligence had called him a shortly before the blasts and said the attacks would be made against Methodist Churches and not Catholic Churches.
By this time some police officers were already in possession of a letter circulated by Police Chief Jayasundera, based on a SIS letter that Catholic Churches would be hit. Eventually two Catholic Churches and one evanglical church was hit.
Fernando had said President Sirisena had told him not to give briefings, because the head of SIS was already in contact with him.
Police Chief Jayasundera had said that he was told not to attend National Security Council meetings from last October.
The then Defence Secretary, had told him verbally that President Sirisena did not want him to be present at National Security briefings, he had testified.
Earlier in the week, Minister Lakshman Kiriella told parliament that the suicide bomber Zaharah Hashim and his associates had been paid a wages by the government. Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa warned him not to expose intelligence officials saying it will be a repeat of the ‘Millenium City’ affair. (Colombo/June07/2018)