Feb 23, Colombo: Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on the 2019 Easter attacks in its report has recommended the recommends Attorney general to consider instituting criminal proceedings against former President Maithripala Sirisena and his intelligence chiefs.
The Commission, while had found fault with former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for failing to prevent the 2019 Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed 279 people, has not recommended legal action against him.
The PCoI, which heard from 440 witnesses said based on the evidence, it is of the view that there is criminal liability on former President’s part and recommended the Attorney General to consider instituting criminal proceedings against President Sirisena under any suitable provision in the Penal Code.
The PCoI observing the very close connection between the former President and the former Director of State Intelligence Service (SIS) Nilantha Jayawardena said “on a balance of probability” SIS Director did convey the intelligence received by him on a pending attack to the President Sirisena before he left the country on a tour to India and Singapore from 16th -21st April, just before the 21st April 2019 attack.
The Commission observing that the former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was not invited to National Security Council meetings by president Sirisena after the constitutional crisis in 2018 said the failure of the former PM to raise the issue in parliament or at the cabinet to restore the status quo was not acceptable.
“The failure on the part of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to do so and after the Easter attack take up the position that he was not invited is unacceptable,” the PCoI said.
The Commission said it is of the view that the former Premier’s lax approach towards Islamic extremism was one of the primary reasons for the failure of the then government to prevent the attack.
The Commission has also recommended the Attorney General to consider instituting criminal proceedings against former Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundera for his failure to take effective and decisive action as the IGP of the country.