Attempts to warn Ex-President on Terror Attacks failed as he was overseas; Witness

Attempts to warn Ex-President on Terror Attacks failed as he was overseas; Witness

Attempts to warn Ex-President on Terror Attacks failed as he was overseas; Witness

Written by Staff Writer

21 Aug, 2020 | 7:30 pm

Colombo (News 1st); Former State Intelligence Service Director SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena said attempts to convey intelligence warnings on last year’s April 21st attacks to the President had been unsuccessful as he was overseas.

The witness told the presidential commission probing the April 21st attacks he was informed that the then President Maithripala Sirisena was on a private visit to Singapore, when the warnings were received a day before the bombings.

He added that he did not communicate the warning to the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe or the then State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene as well.

The witness said: “The former State Minister of Defence had not positively engaged with regard to the information pertaining to this kind of matters and I didn’t have a continuous work relationship with him.”

The witness added that he received a warning about the attacks on the day of the bombings as well.

He said his informant had notified him that the suicide bombers were likely to operate between 6 am and 10 am and that a Methodist Church in Colombo was a target.

Meanwhile, the former SIS director said that a separate inquiry must be carried out into the explosion at the Dehiwala Tropical Inn on the day of the attacks.

He said the bomber Abdul Latheef Mohamed Jameel had detonated his explosives at the Dehiwala Tropical Inn after failing to explode the bomb at the Taj Samudra hotel in Colombo.

Jayawardena said there was a doubt whether Jameel had detonated himself or whether he tested his explosive device, as it had failed to explode at the first target.

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