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Sri Lanka's president blames UN inquiry for causing Easter Sunday attacks

Sri Lanka's president, Maithripala Sirisena blamed the UN inquiry into war crimes during the armed conflict for the suicide bomb attacks by Islamist extremists on Easter Sunday. 

Claiming the inquiry has weakened the state's security apparatus, Sirisena said the inquiry left Sri Lanka vulnerable for attack, The Guardian reported. 

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Sri Lankan leaders have been quick to point the finger at each other over the blasts after it emerged that they had been warned about planned attacks weeks before by the Indian government. 

Sirisena claimed he was not informed of the intelligence warning. 

“Neither the IGP [inspector general of police] nor the defence secretary informed me of the intelligence report,” he said. “I am not saying this to absolve myself from any responsibility. But this is the fact.”

Speaking to Channel 4, the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe evaded taking responsibility for the security lapse, claiming he also was not made aware of the prior intelligence. 

In an interview with Channel 4, Ranil evaded his responsibility as prime minister in ensuring security, laying blame at the feet of the president. 

Ranil: On this occassion solid information did come and the issue is why that information was not communicated to all relevant parties

Channel 4: If you're not in charge of law and order, how are you the prime minister? Isn't the first job of the prime minister the security of the nation

Ranil: Yes and in the Cabinet we are responsible for that. But as you know law and order is a different minister.

Channel 4: Yes but there isn't one, that's the point isn't it?

Ranil: Yes, the function has been taken over by defences. 

Channel 4: Who is in charge right now of law and order right now, are you? 

Ranil: At the moment it is the president. 

Channel 4: So even though, the President has failed clearly in his responsibility to protect the nation, he is still in charge of that? 

Ranil: We are talking to him about this major restructuring of the government machinery and the security machinery.