Sri Lanka president vows to block Easter attacks probe; Refuses to cooperate with a parliamentary investigation

News Bharati    08-Jun-2019
Colombo, June 8: Sacking the national intelligence chief Sisira Mendis, in the wake of lapses into security before the Easter Suicide bombings, Sri Lanka's president has refused to cooperate with a parliamentary investigation.
 
Maithripala Sirisena summoned an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday night and opposed a parliamentary select committee probe into the April 21 attacks that killed 258 people, including 45 foreigners, and wounded nearly 500.
 
 
Sirisena's office however did not give a reason for the sacking. Also he has refused to allow any police, military or intelligence personnel to testify before the committee.
 
“The president had told senior police officers on Friday that he will not allow any serving officer to testify”, the office said. Chief of National Intelligence was sacked after testifying to the inquiry last week that the attacks could have been averted.
 
Sirisena's defence secretary and police chief have meanwhile suggested that the president, who is also defence minister, did not follow proper protocols in dealing with intelligence warnings about the Easter Sunday bombings. Sirisena has repeatedly denied he was aware of an impending threat.
 
The crisis erupted ahead of a visit Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka on Sunday. Modi is to make a brief stopover in Colombo on his return from an official visit to the Maldives.