Based on findings of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), which was examining the Easter Sunday bombings, which claimed the lives of over 250 people, BBC Sinhala Service has 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’ behind the attacks.
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.
Jayatissa further notes that on 4th April 2019, Indian intelligence provided the first information to Sri Lanka to a suicide attack was imminent with India’s Defence Secretary visiting Sri Lanka on the 8th without special security arrangements.
According to a Sri Lankan parliamentary select committee report, the country’s security forces were given intelligence that showed that an attack was due to take place on Easter Sunday but may have permitted it to create chaos and instil fear’ ahead of presidential elections. That election led to the victory of Rajapaksa who claimed the previous regime ‘diluted’ intelligence services, which he has since pledged to strengthen.
The final report of the PCoI, which was published earlier this month, recommended criminal charges against key officials, including former President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who failed to prevent the attacks, despite the early warnings.
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