Sri Lanka parliament blames president | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 24, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:33 AM, October 24, 2019

EASTER ATTACK LAPSES

Sri Lanka parliament blames president

A Sri Lankan parliamentary report yesterday accused President Maithripala Sirisena of “actively undermining” national security and of failing to prevent the Easter Sunday bombings earlier this year that killed 269 people.

A cross-party committee which probed alleged intelligence lapses related to the suicide bombings said Sirisena had not given proper guidance or support to the country’s security establishment and police.

It also found fault with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and deputy defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene, who it said had “failed in their duties”.

Some 269 people were killed on April 21 in a series of suicide attacks on hotels and churches blamed on a local jihadi group.

“The PSC observes that the president failed on numerous occasions to give leadership and also actively undermined government (security and intelligence) systems,” the 1,649-page report said.

The parliamentary select committee has no powers to indict, but its findings can form the basis of criminal prosecutions or civil action against those identified as being responsible for serious lapses.

The inquiry said Sirisena -- who is also the minister of defence -- had excluded the police chief from crucial national security council meetings.

The report added that the country’s spy agency -- the State Intelligence Service (SIS) which falls directly under Sirisena’s remit -- had received advance information on the attacks, but failed to act on it.

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