President Maithripala Sirisena has claimed that international drug syndicates orchestrated Sri Lanka’s deadly Easter Sunday bombings, although previously blaming the attacks on Islamist terrorists.
In a statement released on Monday, Sirisena said the attacks “were the work of international drug dealers.”
“Drug barons carried out this attack to discredit me and discourage my anti-narcotics drive. I will not be deterred,” he said.
The President’s statement comes amid a nationwide narcotics crackdown, with President Maithripala Sirisena trying to bring an end to the 43 year moratorium on the death penalty.
Following the attacks, Sirisena had said that local terrorists and international terror groups were responsible.
Sudarshana Gunawardana, spokesman for the Prime Minister responded to the President’s claims.
“Police completed the investigations within about two weeks. There is no mention of drug dealers being involved. We have no reason to doubt our investigators,” he said.
Sri Lankan authorities have said local jihadist group National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ) was responsible for the string of suicide bombings in churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday which killed over 250 people.