Sri Lanka Attacks – President Sacks Senior Officials

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On the 24th of April, Maithripala Sirisena, the President of Sri Lanka, asked Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara to quit, in relation to the bombings which took place on Easter.

The President took this call after reports emerged, saying the Inspector General of Police and the Defence Secretary chose to ignore intelligence alerts about an impending attack on the island Country.

In a statement to the entire Country, President Sirisena admitted there was a serious lapse in security and he would restructure the police as well as the security forces. He further said, Indian Intelligence had given the defence and security team a detailed report about the attacks, going so far as to name those planning the attacks as well. However, because of issues amongst the members of the Sri Lankan Government, the information wasn’t shared and the alert was ignored by senior officials.

Lakshman Kiriella, the leader of  Parliament and an ally of the Prime Minister, said, “Information was there but the top brass security officials did not take appropriate actions. Somebody is controlling these top intelligence officials. The Security Council is doing politics. We need to investigate this.”

While the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks, Sri Lanka is still investigating whether ISIS had more than just a symbolic role in the attacks. According to the reports, all the nine terrorists were residents of Sri Lanka and one of them was the wife of a suicider bomber.

Despite reports suggesting the attacks in Sri Lanka were a retaliation to the shootout in New Zealand, Defence Minister Wijewardene said, the 15th March shootings in New Zealand may have been a motivation for the attacks, but there was no evidence to prove it.

With the death toll rising above 350, the Sri Lankan Government apologised to the public for the lapse in security.

The officials are still looking into the motive behind the attacks and a reason will be given soon.

Stay tuned for more updates.