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'State intelligence service was completely paralyzed' during previous administration – claims Sri Lankan Army Intelligence Officer

A warranted officer of the Army Intelligence Division, Kanishka Gunaratne, claimed that due to the action of key officials within the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) during the previous administration, state intelligence operations were “paralyzed”.

Kanishka Gunaratne made the comments whilst giving evidence before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into political victimization. The Army Intelligence officer had complained that the CID investigating the abduction and disappearance of journalists Prageeth Ekanligoda had fabricated evidence and arrested and remanded him for the abduction of the journalist.

Gunaratne added that during the period of Good Governance, the CID had questioned about 300 intelligence officers regarding the incident which led to the state intelligence to become “ paralyzed” and then went onto claim that this led to the Easter Sunday attack.

Prageeth Eknelygoda was forcibly disappeared in 2010 days before the presidential election. Days prior to his disappearance he had published a comparative analysis which came out against Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa and in favour of the then opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka. His wife has also suggested that he may have been targeted as he investigated allegations that the Sri Lankan Army used chemical weapons in the north-east during the armed conflict.

Recently, a former inspector general of the police, testified before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the 2019 April attacks and claimed the bomber of the Tropical Inn in Dehiwela had met with an Intelligence official 45 minutes before he blew himself up.

Several Sri Lankan Parliamentarians have claimed that members of the National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) who were deemed responsible for the attacks were being paid by Sri Lankan Intelligence and had established links with Gotabaya Rajapaksa.  According to a parliamentary select committee, 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.


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