Several Sri Lankan government ministers have claimed that they received prior warnings that an attack on the island was imminent, after bombs killed at least 290 people in Easter Sunday.
“Fourteen days before these incidents occurred, we had been informed about these incidents,” cabinet spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne told a press conference in Colombo on Monday.
“On 9 April, the chief of national intelligence wrote a letter and in this letter many of the names of the members of the terrorist organisation were written down… Unfortunately, despite all these revelations by the intelligence units we could not avert these attacks.”
His statement comes after Sri Lanka’s prime minister also claimed that the Sri Lankan intelligence services had been “aware of information” 10 days ago and said the government “must look into why adequate precautions were not taken”.
Another minister Mano Ganesan tweeted,
A week before, my Ministerial Security Division (MSD) officers had been warned by their Division on two suspected suicide bombers in Colombo targeting politicians.
Meanwhile minister Harin Fernando told the BBC,
“This was not dealt properly or the prime minister was not informed, and as you are aware the law and order minister is the president and the defence minister is also the president. So there is probably miscommunication and this was raised by the cabinet of ministers how this reports was not taken serious”.
“The million dollar question is that this was sent on the 11th of April and no proper government official actually had their hands on it.”
“The information clearly said… there could be suicide bombs… a few names have been mentioned as well.”
He went on to add,
“I myself find myself bemused by this situation because how none of us knew about this. The intelligence had the report, so how come none of the cabinet ministers or the prime minister kew about this.”
At least 290 people are confirmed to have been killed from the bombings. No group has yet taken responsibility.