2019 Easter terror attacks: SL to probe British channel's allegations
President Wickremesinghe has noted that upon completion of the investigations into the Easter attacks
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday said he will appoint a retired Supreme Court judge-headed committee to probe allegations made by UK's Channel 4 TV that intelligence of the South Asian country was complicit in the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings, President Media Division (PMD) said.
In addition to the probe by the committee, the government also plans to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to inquire into the allegation levelled by a former Attorney General who stated that there was a mastermind behind the Easter attack.
President Wickremesinghe has noted that upon completion of the investigations into the Easter attacks, the PSC reports and the Presidential Commission on the Easter bomb attack would be presented to parliament before any final decisions are made, the PMD stated.
On September 5, Channel 4 in its regular documentary series titled 'Dispatches', dropped a bombshell revelation that the Easter Sunday suicide attacks by a group of ISIS connected local Islamic extremists had been carried out with the knowledge of Sri Lankan Military Intelligence officials.
According to revelation by the controversial video, the massacre which killed 270 locals and foreigners and injured over 500 was aimed at bringing former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to power at the election that followed.
Based on interviews given by a whistle-blowers including one who said to have arranged a meeting with suicide bombers and the then Director General of Military Intelligence (DGMI), Major General Suresh Sallay, Channel 4 alleged military and Gotabaya government prevented proper investigation in the coordinated suicide bomb attacks by six suicide bombers who detonated almost on the same time at three crowded churches and three star-class hotels.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Maj. Gen. Sallay who is also the present head of the CSIS), immediately denied Channel 4 allegations and later Defence Ministry too categorically rejected the UK TVs charges. They announced that in 2016-2018, Sallay was serving as a diplomat in Malaysia and from January 2019 he was undergoing training at the National Defence College Course in Delhi.
Following the release of Channel 4 video, Sri Lanka's opposition parties and the Catholic Church which had been complaining about the credibility of earlier investigations, demanded for an international investigation.