Jul 06, 2019

Eleven including DIG Ananda, Lalith, Deshabandu to be arrested! Featured

Based on the recommendations of the three member commission appointed to investigate the Easter Sunday Bombings, 11 high ranking police officials including three DIGs are likely to be arrested, it is reported.

Among those likely to be arrested are the Western Province Senior DIG Ananda Munasinghe, DIG in charge of Colombo Lalith Pathinayake, Western Province (North) DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon, SSPs and ASPs in charge of Colombo and Negombo, OICs of the Katana and Jampattah Street Police stations and the Head of the State Intelligence Service Sisira Mendis.

The three member commission comprises of former Supreme Court Judge Vijith Mallalgoda, former Ministry Secretary Padmasiri Jayamanna and former IGP N.K. Illangakoon and they have come up with a list of 13 persons who should be held responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks.

Charges against Pujith-Hemasiri

The former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and former IGP Pujith Jayasundara are facing charges under six counts for having failed to prevent the attacks despite being given the intelligence information.

01. Being aware of the date and time of the attack.

02. Knowing it was a suicide attack.

03. Having identified the suspects connected to the attacks.

04. Having knowledge that the attacks were targeting the Catholic churches and the Indian High Commission.

05. Failure to notify the President, Prime Minister, Chief of Defence Staff and Tri Forces Chiefs.

06. The failure of the IG to focus due attention on intelligence on intelligence reports of April 18, 19 and 20th.

Arguments on Pujith, Hemasiri’s innocence

President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne argued in court on grounds of why his clients Pujith and Hemasiri are innocent of the charges.

He commenced his argument by raising the question on who commands the intelligence units. “Under whom does the intelligence units operate? This is the question that needs to be asked,” he said.

According to the 2015 January 18th Gazette Extraordinary 1897/15, the intelligence units are under the Defence Minister who is the President, he said.

He also pointed out that from February 2019 up until the Easter Sunday attacks the Security Council had not convened.

“The initial information was received from India on April 04th. It stated that they only gave the information and wanted Sri Lanka to investigate it and give them feedback, said Anuja Premaratne, presenting a copy of the Indian Intelligence report.

''Eyes Only''

He also raised the following arguments.

01. Hemasiri Fernando had not received any letter from the Intelligence Unit and the only information he had received was by the letter sent by the Chief of National Intelligence (CNI).

02. Having realised the importance of this letter under ‘eyes only’, he had forwarded it to four Senior DIGs.

03. During the intelligence meeting on April 09th, the CNI had not mentioned anything about it.

04. So far the information received from India has not been investigated and he had notified the IG on April 09th.

05. Not having notified anyone regarding the threat from April 09 to 18th.

He also pointed out that although there are claims that the Defence Secretary and the IG had been notified of the attacks the day before and during the morning through WatsApp, this information is not definite.