Easter Commission: None of the reports sent by the SIS to the IGP on April 17, 18, 19, 20 contained information about an attack

Easter Commission: None of the reports sent by the SIS to the IGP on April 17, 18, 19, 20 contained information about an attack

15 September 2020 05:21 pm

Former Director of the State Intelligence Service Nilantha Jayawardena is investigating the Easter attack today. He testified before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the 23rd time. He said that the information received from the Foreign Intelligence Service on April 4 and 5, 2019 that there was a possibility of an attack on the Indian High Commission and Catholic Churches was not included in the reports submitted to the IGP on the 17th and 18th.

He said this while cross-examining President's Counsel Anura Meddegoda on behalf of former IGP Pujith Jayasundara today (15).

Jayawardena said that in those reports, information about Saharan Hashim and his close associates had been reported.

He said that according to information received on April 4, reports sent by the State Intelligence Service to the IGP on April 17, 18 and 19 did not provide specific information regarding an attack, but that Saharan Hashim's mental state had already been reported.

Responding to a cross-examination by the President's Counsel, the witness said that reports 18 and 19 stated that Saharan Hashim was preparing for something, although no specific details were given.

The State Intelligence Service has reported to the IGP that the Wanathawilluwa blast at 12.00 am on the 18th was identified as a dry run by Saharan Hashim.

He said he had already pointed out that if Saharan Hashim had been arrested, he could have prevented a possible accident.

"If he had known about an attack by the 18th, he could have asked the Secretary of Defense to convene the Security Council, right?" A judge of the commission asked the witness.

Responding, Nilantha Jayawardena said, "An intelligence service cannot verify 100% of the evidence, but it was aware of the danger and he had informed the relevant parties to arrest Saharan Hashim."

Judge of the Commission: I asked the witness, Did you not ask the Secretary of Defense to convene the Security Council at that time because he had received the information?

Witness: '' Such a thing did not come to my mind. I wanted to avoid an accident. But I did not propose to the Secretary of Defense to convene the Security Council.

President's Counsel cross-examined the witness and said that he was aware that the IGP had not been summoned to the Security Council meeting from October 2018 until the attack.

Nilantha Jayawardena said that he knew that.

The President's Counsel asked the witness whether he was aware that the IGP had been summoned to the Security Council again on April 22 after the attack.

Jayewardena replied that he knew that too.

According to a report sent to the former IGP by the Chief of National Intelligence on April 4 regarding information received from a foreign intelligence service, the former IGP brought to the attention of the Commission the President's Counsel attached to four senior DIGs.

PC: The information sent by the IGP to the four senior officers was based on information provided by Sisira Mendis, the Chief of National Intelligence.

Witness: Yes, sir

PC: Do you accept that the Chief of National Intelligence has forwarded to the IGP all the important points in the document with the attachments you sent to the Chief of Intelligence?

Witness: Contains key facts.

President's Counsel: The Chief of National Intelligence has informed the IGP that the authorities in charge of this information have been informed and have been asked to be vigilant. Are you aware that according to the IGP, those officers took certain actions?

Witness: I do not know personally. I think action has been taken.

On April 4, a judge of the commission questioned the witness as to when the State Intelligence Service had turned the public churches into public churches, which could have been the target of a significant church attack that contained information from a foreign intelligence service.

In response, the Witness said that he had discussed the matter with the informant because of its wide range of importance, and that he had decided to refer to it as a famous church.

The commission questioned which church came to mind when referring to famous churches, and Mr. Jayawardena said it was the Kochchikade church.

PC: After receiving information that important churches were being targeted, did you not think about what kind of churches it was?

Witness: What comes to my mind cannot be written on paper.

PC: Witness, I'm asking what came into your mind, not what could be written in papers

Witness: Please repeat the question

President's Counsel: When you say important churches, weren't you attracted to what those churches were?

Witness: I was attracted. Some of them are famous churches. Some of them are not famous, but crowded churches.

However, Nilantha Jayawardena testified that the information received on April 04 that this was an attack could not be hidden from anyone and that it could be decided as it has been forwarded to the relevant parties.