Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

India behind Easter Sunday attacks, claims former Sri Lankan president

Sri Lanka’s former president Maithripala Sirisena claimed that India was behind the deadly Easter Sunday attacks that saw hundreds killed as churches and hotels were bombed in 2019.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, Sirisena told Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) that an Indian diplomat admitted Delhi’s involvement behind the bombings.

He reportedly went on to claim that not only did the diplomat confess to being behind the attack but told Sirisena that it was “because Sri Lanka has not been considerate in giving India any projects, say like for example, the Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport and similar ventures”.

His comments to the CID came after he claimed to know who was behind the attacks that killed more than 250 people.

The aftermath in one of the churches targeted in the Easter Sunday bombings.

This is not the first time that India has been accused of involvement in the bombings. Based on findings of Sri Lanka’s Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), which was examining the Easter Sunday bombings, the BBC Sinhala Service reported that India may have played a role in the attack and maintained that the accused leader of the National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ), Zaharan Hashim, could not have been the ‘Mastermind’.

The reporting specifies the claims of Dr Nalinda Jayatissa, a member of the parliamentary Select Committee, who believes India played a role in the attacks as he notes “only an experienced group armed with military technology and with a solid intelligence network can carry out such an attack”. He further notes that neither Sri Lankan nor Indian authorities remained reluctant to investigate or extradite the wife of one of the suicide bombers, who had fled to India following the incidents, to Sri Lanka for questioning.

Sirisena has personally accused India of nefarious activities in the past, including of Delhi’s involvement in an alleged assassination plot to murder him and former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

“The president said that RAW (India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing) was behind the plot,” a minister, who declined to be named, said at the time.

EconomyNext also reported that Sirisena was “visibly upset” as he addressed the cabinet and accused the United National Party of not taking his claims seriously.

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.