Earlier this week, Channel 4 aired a documentary in which high placed whistle blowers exposed high Sri Lankan government officials, including the Rajapaksa family, as being the masterminds behind the Easter Sunday bombings of 2019. Following the British documentary carried out by Dispatches, Sri Lankan junior defence minister, Pramitha Tennakoon announced that a parliamentary committee would be appointed to investigate the allegations made in the British documentary.
In the interview, one of whistle-blowers who waived his anonymity, Hanzeer Azad Maulana, specifically names head of military intelligence, Suresh Salley, former paramilitary group leader and Rajapaksa-ally, Pillayan, and the Rajapaksa family as being the architects of the six separate church and luxury hotel bombings which took the lives of 269 people on 21 April 2019.
Maulana worked as an aide to Pillayan, who met the bombers while he was in prison facing charges of the murder of a political opponent. He fled Sri Lanka in 2022 and has given his testimony to European intelligence agencies and the United Nations.
The Channel 4 documentary newly sheds light on the Rajapaksa family’s motive behind the Easter Sunday attacks. The whistle blowers say that Rajapaksa family intended on creating chaos and instability within the national security under the then Sirisena regime, so that the public would vote for the Rajapaksa brothers to be re-elected. “The attack was not a plan made in just one or two days, the plan was two, three years in the making,” Maulana said.
Perhaps as the most nuanced part of the documentary, Maulana says that he organised a meeting with the six NTJ terrorists who carried out the bombings and Suresh Salley. When the meeting, which he claims to have taken no part in, finished, Suresh Salley told him, “The Rajapaksas need an unsafe situation in Sri Lanka…that’s the only way for Gotabaya to become President”.
Another whistle-blower disclosed that once the Gotabaya came into power, “all officers connected to the investigation were transferred out” and the investigation was “completely sabotaged”.
Suresh Salley and Pillayan refute the allegations made against them in the documentary, whilst the Rajapaksa family have not responded to the accusations made.
Read more here.