Nov 28, Colombo: The Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Easter Sunday attacks observed many discrepancies in the evidence provided by former President Maithripala Sirisena’s personal security guard Priyantha Pushpakumara when he testified before the Commission Friday (27).
Former President Maithripala Sirisena’s personal security officer testifying before the Presidential Commission yesterday said he did not remember whether Nilantha Jayawardena, the former director of the State Intelligence Service, had received a phone call from the former president, who was in Singapore at the time to contact him before Easter Sunday
However, the Commission observed that there were discrepancies between the statement given by this officer before the Police Unit of the Presidential Commission and the evidence given yesterday.,.
During the stay of former President Maithripala Sirisena in Singapore, Priyantha Pushpakumara was the President’s official telephone holder and still serves as the former President’s personal bodyguard.
The Additional Solicitor General of the Government asked the witness who were the people who accompanied the former President on his trip to Singapore. The witness stated that the President’s wife, the private doctor, the Chief Security Officer and he were present on the occasion.
Additional Solicitor General: Didn’t the President’s children attend his foreign tour with the then President on April 16 last year?
Witness: The President’s son had left earlier and joined us there. I remember the other two children participating as well.
Presiding Judge: Now you say that the children participated. However, when giving statements to the police unit of this Commission it has not been mentioned that children participated in that trip.
Witness: No sir, I did not remember then.
Presiding Judge: As far as you know, did the former President go to Singapore for treatment before 2019?
Witness: No, sir. I don’t remember going to Singapore before.
Presiding Judge: When did the former President go to Mount Elizabeth Hospital for treatment?
Witness: The President visited the hospital from time to time. But at no time did he stay in the hospital and receive treatment.
Presiding Judge: Even though you have said so, you have told the police unit of this commission that the former President was in the hospital on the 20th of April 2019. However, not even the former President has made such a statement before the commission.
Witness: Sir, it has been a long time since I recorded that. I do not remember.
Presiding Judge: OK then tell me, the former President came out of the hospital on April 21 at 9 am, right?
Witness: No, sir. It was even later. I think it must have been ten or eleven.
Presiding Judge: The statement you have given to the police regarding this is contradictory. You said it was nine in the morning.
Witness: What I am declaring today is the truth Lord.
Additional Solicitor of the Government - From the official residence of Mr. Maithripala Sirisena on Paget Road to the official telephone number of the former President in Singapore which you had from April 18 to 21, 2019, 43 calls have been made. Seven calls have been made from the phone you had. Does that mean that the former President took your phone calls for his needs?
Witness: We also call for our needs. Also, since the President’s family members were also involved, even their calls come to this phone.
Government Additional Solicitor - Did you get a call on your mobile phone from the then Director of the State Intelligence, Nilantha Jayawardena at 6.16 pm on April 20?
Witness: No. There was no such call.
Additional Government Solicitor - Didn’t Mr. Nilantha Jayawardena made a phone call to your phone from the President’s official residence on Paget Road at 7.59 am on the day of the attack?
Witness: I do not remember.
Additional Solicitor Government - Mr. This call is more than two minutes long. You can’t forget that.
Presiding Judge: Did.t you read the testimony you gave to the police unit of this commission before signing it?
Witness: Yes Sir, I signed after reading.