Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Sri Lankan security forces may have allowed Easter Sunday attack - parliamentary report

Sri Lanka’s security forces received intelligence that an attack was due to take place on Easter Sunday but may have allowed it to proceed in order to “create chaos and instil fear” ahead of presidential elections, said a parliamentary select committee report this week.

The report which was presented to Sri Lanka’s parliament on Wednesday, found that though members of the security apparatus, including chief of the State Intelligence Service Nilantha Jayawardena, received information on possible attacks more than a fortnight before the bombings, there were delays in sharing the intelligence.

The report said that “further investigations will be needed to understand whether those with vested interests did not act on intelligence so as to create chaos and instil fear and uncertainty in the country in the lead up to the Presidential Election”.

It went on to state,

“Such a situation would then lead to the call for a change of regime to contain such acts of terrorism. Coincidently or not so coincidentally, the security situation and fear would be unleashed months away from the Presidential Election… These are extremely serious observations that can impact the democratic governance, electoral processes and security of Sri Lanka and must require urgent attention.”

The report went on to note that “the Easter Sunday attacks and subsequent communal violence in parts of Sri Lanka witnessed new levels of fear among the public and criticism towards the political leadership and security establishment”. 

Anti-Muslim violence flared up in various parts of the island, as homes and businesses came under attack by mobs. In several instances, Sri Lankan security forces were seen on video directing the mobs.

The attacks also came at a “time when calls emanated for a change of regime”. 

The report also questions whether Zahran Hashim, leader of the National Thowheed Jamaath, and the alleged mastermind behind the attacks “had the support and patronage of some politicians and intelligence”. 

“These cannot be taken as coincidental and must be investigated further,” the report concluded. 

“It is also paramount to question the role of some sections in the intelligence apparatus and their attempts to shape security, the electoral process, political landscape and the future of Sri Lanka.”

See the full text of the report here.

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.