Apr 22, 2019

'International network' linked to bombings Featured

The Easter Sunday bomb attacks in Sri Lanka were carried out with the help of an international network, cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said on Monday (21 April), reports Reuters.

“We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country,” Senaratne said. “There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded.”

Furthermore, addressing a press conference today (22 April) he stated that Sri Lankan authorities were warned about a bomb threat a full 17 days before the attacks.

He said that the warnings were not passed on to the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, or his cabinet.

It is the government stance that Inspector General of Police (IGP) should resign, Minister Senaratne stated.

International intelligence agencies had warned the government on April 04 regarding an impending attack and Ministry of Defence had informed the IGP regarding the probable attacks on April 09.

Senaratne emphasised that the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and his cabinet had not been privy to the warnings about possible attacks because they were not invited to the national security council meetings, which are led by Sri Lankan president, Maithripala Sirisena.

“The Prime Minister was not informed by these letters and revelations,” Senaratne said.

Senaratne said that the Prime Minister and the State Minister of Defence were not invited for National Security Council (NSC) meetings since December last year.

President is the Minister of Defence , however he had not appointed an acting Minister of Defence during for the period he is on tour, Senaratne stated.

Following the incident,despite the instructions given by the Prime Minister in the absence of the President to convene the NSC , the members did not comply to the request.

Sri Lanka is the first country in which the Prime Minister did not attend the NSC and the NSC did not respond to PM's request.

However, as President Maithripala Sirisena presided over an emergency meeting of the NSC today the PM also participated.