Sri Lankan president sacks intelligence chief over Easter attacks probe

PM Narendra Modi to be First Prime Minister to Visit Sri Lanka After Easter Bombings

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena summoned an emergency meeting of his Cabinet yesterday night to oppose the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the April 21 attacks that killed 258 people and wounded almost 500. Top Indian intelligence officials said information shared at the highest level between the two countries indicated that Mendis was sacked after Sri Lankan agencies failed to act on specific inputs about the terror plot.

258 people, including 11 Indians, were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka.

Sirisena was reportedly upset over Mendis being grilled by the committee and the session being open to press.

The President handed over Rs. 2.5 million financial assistance to the families of the police officers who were killed in the April 21 attacks.

Stating that suspended officers were thus far called before the committee, the President said that officers now serving in the security forces will not be summoned to the committee meetings.

A letter which was sent to the Speaker conveying the AG's stance on the Committee had not been tabled before Parliament, President Sirisena had claimed.


Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena speaks during a meeting with the Foreign Correspondents Association at his residence in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nov. 25, 2018.

Mendis said that when he brought up the warnings during a meeting on April 9, director of the State Intelligence Service Nilantha Jayawardena, the direct link to the president, told him Sirisena had already been briefed.

Halfway through his testimony, the live telecast of the proceedings were stopped on Sirisena's orders, official sources said. Mr. Sirisena called an emergency Cabinet meeting on Friday to oppose the legislature's investigation into the attacks.

Sirisena's rival Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is leading the PSC, which is also investigating possible lapses that allowed the Islamic State terrorists to target hotels and churches. We have kept our travel advice under constant review since the Easter Sunday attacks, engaging closely with the Sri Lankan Government, the tourism industry, and the police.

Sirisena suspended police chief Pujith Jayasundara and dismissed his top defence official Hemasiri Fernando after the bombings.

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