Former INSSSL DG claims three reports warning of threat disregarded

Former Director General of the Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL) Asanga Abeyagoonasekera claims three reports submitted to the then Defence Secretary warning of a threat, prior to the Easter Sunday attacks, were disregarded.

Abeyagoonasekera told Daily Mirror in an interview that INSSSL compiled three reports, two in 2017, and one in 2019 January clearly highlighting the significant buildup of an extremist threat to the country.

He said the reports were submitted to the then Defence Secretary but no action was taken to investigate and take appropriate action.

“These reports were compiled for the President’s eyes only. But the Secretary Defence would brief him.  We did not have access to the President. The Defence Secretary would speak at the National Security Council or whenever he meets the President, on those points and sum up the threats. The 2019 report called to find out the external links and also the funding of this group,” he said.

He said that in a recording submitted to the Presidential Commission on the Easter Sunday attacks he spoke about setting up a checking system at the hotels because terrorists couldn’t even check in and detonate themselves.

“This was spoken in 2017. Even when the Bangladesh attack took place we were looking at possibilities of a Sri Lankan attack. We were looking at all these things. But unfortunately, they were not considered as significant priorities or important. So, the priority level was not given,” he said.

He also dismissed attempts to blame India and other countries for the Easter Sunday attacks.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS INTERVIEW 

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Asanga Abeyagoonasekera is a forthright man with obviously very little regard for self preservation. What the heck is he doing in Sri Lanka ? He has just ‘torpedoed’ his career We wish him well for the future.

    At least, he has distinguished himself by refusing to “tow the line” and be a sycophant.

  2. Caution: The public should not be misled by this fraud. He is nothing but a politically motivated fortune seeker, trying to exploit the Easter tragedy to his own advantage. He has a history of creeping into state institutions through political patronage from different governments (without proper qualifications, background or experience). As a Rajapaksa supporter, he was made Head of the Kadirgamar Institute in the past. That position is ideally meant for a non-political distinguished diplomat, academic or professional. After the Rajapaksas fell from power in 2015, he jumped to Yahaplanaya. A new but unimportant institution, affiliated to the Defence Ministry, was set up for him to Head with the lofty tile of Director-General. As in the past, his only real motive was to gain political prominence and publicity so that he could enter active politics. This institution and his post had no real importance or significance in actual matters of national security. Apart from being an expensive talk-shop and a paper-mill, it had done nothing to develop and reform the security sector. His posts allowed him to get big salaries and to go on many foreign jaunts, all at public expense. He states that he was “transferred” to a diplomatic post in Germany, but he is not a career diplomat or career public servant who could be “transferred.” He makes his motives clear in the video interview when he says that he was to be sent to Germany “not even as Ambassador or Deputy, but as Counsellor.” It clearly shows that he didn’t get the high post he desired this time, unlike during the first and second Rajapaksa regimes. Ultimately, he didn’t even get the junior post of Counsellor! It looks like he has even fallen out with his old collaborator, Rohan Gunarathna (a dangerous and sinister Rajapaksa ally) because his old post went to Gunarathna. Using connections he built up over the years through politically obtained posts and titles, as well as foreign jaunts, (courtesy the Rajapaksas and Yahapalanaya) he has fooled many into believing that he’s a non-political expert and intellectual! The truth is very different.

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