President insists he was in the dark about Easter Sunday attacks

President Maithripala Sirisena today insisted that he was not warned of a possible terrorist attack on Easter Sunday.

He was responding to media reports of a statement made by the Head of the National Intelligence Service, while giving evidence at the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to look into April 21 terrorist attacks.

The media reports stated that the National Security Council did not meet from February 2019 till the attacks took place.

“As there were media reports appearing unofficially on the proceedings of the NSC, it was decided to establish an NSC with a new format and this has been in operation for more than one year. The new NSC has been meeting every two weeks and, on some occasions the President has convened the meetings of the NSC every week,” the President’a media division said.

The President’s media division said that on April 8, 2019, the President has convened the monthly meeting of the Inspector General of Police and senior police officers.

“This meeting was held for more than two hours and none of the police officers informed the President that advance reports on a possible terrorist attack had been received,” the President’s media division added.

Neither the Defence Secretary, Inspector General of Police nor any other officer had informed the President about a warning letter received from a friendly foreign country about the impending April 21 terrorist attacks, the President’s office added.

Hence, the President said that media reports claiming that the President had been informed about the impending attack are absolutely false. (Colombo Gazette)

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