SJB alleges evidence of military involvement in Easter attacks

The main Parliamentary Opposition Party, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) claimed that there is enough evidence to suspect that the military intelligence services were involved in the Easter Sunday attacks that took place in 2019.

Speaking in the Parliament during the two-day adjournment debate on the Easter Sunday attacks and national security, which commenced yesterday (21), SJB Opposition Parliamentarian Nalin Bandara Jayamaha claimed that the SJB would raise its concerns over four major instances where it is clear that the military intelligence services had supported the Easter bombings, and had later intentionally hampered the ongoing investigations into the incident.

MP Jayamaha claimed that the investigations launched into an internet protocol address owned by a female officer at the Police intelligence service, who was allegedly the girlfriend of a military intelligence officer who had connections with the Easter Sunday bomber Zahran Hashim, had been dismissed by the authorities, and that such incidents clearly depict the relationship between the bombers and the military intelligence agencies.

He claimed that Jameel, who blasted himself at a rest house in Dehiwala, had received a phone call after which he had suddenly left the Taj Samudra Hotel. He further claimed that this particular incident coincided with the facts included in the testimony given by Azad Moulana, the whistleblower who appears in the controversial Channel 4 documentary, that the Chief of the State Intelligence Service, Major General Suresh Sallay had informed him to take Jameel out from the Taj Samudra Hotel. “When Jameel was going out, he was questioned by a security officer. Then, he called his wife and she said that two officers of the intelligence agencies had visited their house at that moment. Then again, those officers called that security officer and asked him not to let Jameel go. But, he went. After that, the security officer was questioned by the Wellawatta Police and those two military officers who had gone to Jameel’s house were reportedly at the Police station. This is the second incident,” he alleged.

Speaking further, he claimed that the military intelligence agencies and the Police intentionally blamed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for killing two Policemen in Vavunathivu in 2018, which is now believed to be done by the team of Zahran. “When this incident happened, the military intelligence agencies announced five times that this was done by the LTTE to hamper the investigations launched by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). They (military) had intentionally blamed a former LTTE cadre called Ajanthan to divert the attention to another side,” he alleged.

He alleged that when Sadique and Haq who were suspected for the Buddha statues vandalism incident in Mawanella, were arrested immediately after the Easter Sunday attacks, the military intelligence agencies had tried on two occasions to get those suspects into their custody by forcing the CID officers, claiming that the investigations must be done by them. He said that because of such incidents, suspicion could emerge regarding the revelations made by the documentary that the State military agencies were involved with the Easter attacks.

He also noted that an investigation must be launched into the person called Abu Hind, who could be the mastermind behind the Easter Sunday massacre, even though the Police Department claims that it is a “myth”. He added that no one can neglect that Abu Hind is involved in the attacks as a top level agent, since the testimony given by Zahran’s wife Haadiya revealed that the attacks were expedited according to his (Abu Hind) instructions.

The Parliamentary debate on the 2019 Easter attacks comes weeks after the controversial documentary titled Sri Lanka’s Easter Bombings – Dispatches was aired by the British television network Channel 4, in which startling accusations were made. It was based on the testimonies of highly-placed whistleblowers who alleged that senior governmental officials were complicit in this heinous act.

Against this backdrop, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, on 15 September, appointed a three-member committee to investigate the allegations in the documentary. The panel, chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice S.I. Imam, consists of retired Air Force Commander, Air Chief Marshal Jayalath Weerakkody and President’s Counsel Harsha A.J. Soza.