Blasts: Lanka’s failure to act on Indian intel highlighted

07/20/2021

Colombo, Jul. 20: Sri Lanka's former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday highlighted in Parliament the police's failure to act on the intelligence provided by India on the impending Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed 270 persons, including 11 Indians, in 2019.

Nine suicide bombers, belonging to local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaat linked to ISIS, carried out a series of blasts that tore through three Catholic churches and as many luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, killing over 270 pesons and injuring more than 500 on April 21, 2019.

Speaking in Parliament, Wickremesinghe said Harin Fernando, a minister of his government at that time, had informed him after the attacks that Fernando's father had warned his sister not to attend the Easter Sunday mass as there could be trouble on that day.

“When the police did not act on Indian intelligence, would they have acted on Harin Fernando's information,” Wickremesinghe said as he blamed the police for not acting upon the intelligence provided by India on the impending suicide bomb attacks in the island nation. Last week, head of the Catholic church Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith urged the government to take action against Wickremesinghe for his failure as the then PM to prevent the attacks. The Cardinal said a presidential inquiry on the attacks initiated by then President Maithripala Sirisena had found him guilty for his failure to prevent the attacks.

Similarly, the inquiry faulted Wickremesinghe for his soft attitude towards the rising Islamic extremism in the island, the Cardinal said. -PTI

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