Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
Political, Security heads had ample time to stop Terror attack : Fmr. Law and Order Secretary
Additional Secretaries appointed to the Ministry had no knowledge to lead the police There were internal issues at the Police Department when issuing the arrest warrant on Zahran
Even though officials had prevented them from discussing matters related to Islamic extremism at the National Security Council (NSC), the political and security heads had ample time to operate all possible steps to deter the Easter Sunday terror attack within the remaining 16 days of receiving initial foreign intelligence on April 4, 2019, former Secretary of Law and Order Ministry Padamasiri Jayamanne informed the PCOI probing Easter Sunday attacks.
Testifying before the Commission Jayamanne said that the Security Council’s discussions were largely limited in the case of Islamic extremism because of the assistance received by the former government from the minority parties .
“Despite all these minority political influences,the authorities should have taken all possible steps within the remaining 16 days after receiving the initial foreign intelligence regarding a possible terror attack,”he said.
Former Secretary Jayamanne said that he had participated at the NSC for ten months and by that time the Security Council was aware of the fact that Zahran was nurturing the IS ideology and spreading Islamic extremism in the country.
Jayamanne added that although he thought NSC was an important decision maker at a high level,the meetings which were conducted at the previous Security Council were not in such state.
He also added that even the reports submitted by the State Intelligence Service (SIS) to the NSC were not up to standard.
“I observed that the intelligence reports I received were not up to standard.i also realised that I could not take necessary steps based on those intelligence reports.once the SIS sent a report mentioning that Zahran was hiding in his wife’s house in Kekunagolla after issuing the arrest warrant.those are normal incidents which have to be reported to the Police in the particular area to take action.i also noticed that there were lots of typo’s on the facts mentioned in these reports,”he said.
The witness further informed several facts pertaining to the Ministry of Law and Order and the Police Department. He said that the Additional Secretaries appointed to the Ministry had no knowledge to lead the police. Jayamanne also added that there were internal issues at the Police Department when issuing the arrest warrant on Zahran Hashim and due to those internal issues the officials were unable to check on Zahran’s arrest warrant. The Commissioners then questioned the witness to clarify what kind of internal issues prevailed at the Police Department.