President Maithripala Sirisena says that he hopes to affect changes among the heads of the country’s security forces within the next 24 hours.
He stated this during his address to the nation, in the wake of Sunday’s devastating bombings targeting multiple churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.
President Sirisena pointed out that various discussions, dialogues, debates, and criticisms on these attacks are currently ongoing in the country and that he considers this a fundamental characteristic of a free and democratic society.
President stated that it is his responsibility to clarify the true situation of this national tragedy and that it is also his duty and responsibility to reveal everything without hiding anything.
According to him, the security forces were reported of this terrorist campaign since 2017. They had also observed that these persons received training and guidance by joining international terrorist organizations.
“Our security forces constantly followed them and monitored them. However, the security forces did not possess enough evidence and clear information to take legal action against them. The activities of these persons were closely monitored at National Security Council meetings in the past years”, stated the President.
He also stated that these persons carried out these attacks under the guidance, support, and leadership of an international terrorist organization.
President Sirisena appreciated the discipline and patience displayed by the Christian community during this painful and tragic event. He saluted all Catholic and Christian community of Sri Lanka, led by Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, for their calm and peaceful behavior during this turbulent time.
“We now have to enter into a process of establishing a free and peaceful tomorrow in the country,” said the President.
President Sirisena stated that he expects to completely restructure the security forces within the upcoming week. He says that he hopes to affect changes among the heads of the country’s security forces within the next 24 hours.
“During the 1980s, the Sinhala and Muslim communities in the country perceived every Tamil person as a terrorist. Later on, the public became aware that every Tamil person is not an LTTE terrorist. This helped to establish harmony and reconciliation among the communities without suspicion, fear or distrust.
Therefore, I request all Sinhala and Tamil communities not to perceive the Muslim community in Sri Lanka with suspicion, fear or distrust. We should remember that not every Muslim person is a terrorist. Only a very few persons have joined these terrorist groups,” said the President.
“It is important to establish harmony and reconciliation between the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities in the country. We need to with trust in everybody”, said President Sirisena.
The state of emergency was implemented with the aim of curbing the terrorist activities and the police and the tri-forces have been granted power to act on this by gazetting regulations on preventing terrorism, stated the President.
According to him, had this not been gazetted, the police would have lacked the necessary power they need to act on these events and the tri-forces could not have come into action.
“I personally take the responsibility that these regulations will not be used to hinder or challenge a democratic and free way of living,” added the President.
President stated that more information has been uncovered about the suspects, criminals and respondents in connection with the attacks.
He added that considering this situation, the capacity to act on preventing the occurrence of such calamities is certainly there.
“One of our friendly country and seven to eight other powerful countries had assured to provide maximum support to the government of Sri Lanka to eradicate terrorist movements,” President Sirisena said.
The public raises questions as to why the security divisions in the country failed to act on the information given by the state intelligence service of a diplomatic country regarding the attacks.
The President commented that the responsible high-profile authorities of security divisions have not informed him on the attacks. He says he could have taken the necessary actions to prevent the attacks had he been informed on the attacks.
Stern actions will be taken on the security officials for not taking the necessary actions ahead of the attacks.
The tri-forces and the police, as well as their intelligence services, will undergo complete reconstruction.