Grave concerns have been raised about the safety of Abdul Cader Fathima Hadiya, wife of Easter Sunday bombings mastermind Zahran Hashim, after she allegedly tested positive for the corona virus. She was transferred to a high security quarantine facility bordering the Welikanda army base, Colombo Telegraph has learnt.
The corona virus diagnosis comes days after Fathima Hadiya reportedly testified before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating the Easter Sunday attacks. Colombo Telegraph learns that Fathima Hadiya provided damning evidence regarding the funding for her husband Zahran Hashim’s operation. Fathima Hadiya reportedly revealed the names of high officials linked to the present Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration and the military intelligence which remained persistently loyal to the former secretary to the ministry of defence even after the fall of the Rajapaksa regime in 2015.
Days after the Easter Sunday bombings, now President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced he was running for president, claiming that had he still overseen security affairs, the attacks would never have happened. The former Secretary to the ministry of defence cruised to victory seven months later campaigning on the issue of national security and preventing terrorist attacks on Sri Lankan soil.
Months after the bombings that rocked the political sphere, information came to light that the Defence Ministry then headed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa had actively nurtured the National Thawheed Jamath led by Hashim and other extremist groups, providing funding and using its membership as double agents and intelligence operatives.
Fathima Hadiya has been in detention in isolation at a prison facility in Tangalle because she could provide valuable evidence in the case against Hashim and his group of suicide bombers who detonated seven bombs in Colombo and Batticaloa in April 2019, killing 268 people and wounding hundreds more.
On November 7, 2020 the prison authorities announced that Fathima Hadiya had tested positive for corona virus and was being sent to a treatment facility in Welikanda, Polonnaruwa for treatment and quarantine. The treatment facility is being managed by the Sri Lankan military. Concerns are rife that Fathima would suddenly succumb to the virus while in the military-run facility, sources told Colombo Telegraph.
Colombo Telegraph learns that Fathima Hadiya was repeatedly tested for the corona virus and temperature checks performed before she was brought before the presidential commission to testify. All of those tests had been negative and she was returned to isolation after her appearances, prison sources told Colombo Telegraph.
Fathima Hadiya appeared before the PCoI on the Easter bombings on October 22 and 23 and ultimately provided her evidence in camera after the attorney general’s department protested that a public testimony could hinder ongoing investigations and prosecutions into the bombings.
Sources told Colombo Telegraph that her testimony reinforced statements made before the Presidential Commission previously, by the CID and the former IGP Pujith Jayasundara regarding ties between the six suicide bombers and the Sri Lanka Army’s Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI). Both the CID and Jayasundara told the PCoI that Abdul Latheef Mohammed Jameel, the foiled Taj Samudra bomber had been in touch with military intelligence officials 45 minutes before he detonated himself in Dehiwela on April 21, 2019. CID officials in their testimony before the PCoI have also revealed similar details about the bombers’ contacts within the security establishment. (By Chinthika de Silva)