By Tassie Seneviratne –
Suicide bombers blasted three churches packed with devotees and three luxury hotels killing a total of 270 people on Easter Sunday, 21st April 2019.
It has been since established that the suicide bombers belonged to the National Thowheed Jamaath terrorist group. Did they have connections with the ISIS?
Former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, in his testimony, mentions a high-ranking Sri Lankan Security official who paid a large sum of money to the attackers on the eve of the attack. Why was this not investigated?
Former IGP Pujith Jayasundara has also mentioned about a State Intelligence officer who had met the assailant before detonating the bomb at a lodge in Dehiwela. Was this investigated?
Why was the then DIG of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), Nalaka Silva, who was investigating Saharan’s activities, abruptly imprisoned on some absurd charge? Who was behind this?
What was the reason for Pulasthini Rajendran alias Sara Jasmine, the wife of the terrorist who attacked the Katuwapitiya Church, to flee to India or disappear suddenly after the current government came to power? If Sarah Jasmine is in India, has the government discussed with India at diplomatic level to bring her back?
All these matters that have not been duly investigated, are matters that indicate there had been a plan, a conspiracy, directed and led centrally. The list of questions goes on like a ballad that has no ending; yet these questions beg for answers.
In a TV interview, Harin Fernando, MP, repeating some of the above facts, went on to suggest some very pertinent questions such as: For whose benefit were the bombings carried out and, who benefitted from it? The answers to the MP’s questions raise an area of other related matters.
The inquiries into the Easter Sunday bombings have thus far dealt only with related matters which occurred during the last 10 days or so of the bombings, including the information received from India. But many other incidents which occurred from time to time previously, about three/four years before at the hands of the very same terrorist outfit now freely spoken of, have not been dealt with.
It has also been reported that the Ministry of Defense had sponsored and paid extremist organizations, including Saharan, through public funds from 2010 – 2015. In fact, all these incidents are related to each other, not separate isolated incidents. Had inquiries been made on that basis, the reason for these attacks, for whose benefit and who benefited from them, would be evident. Secretary/Defense at the time payments were made to this terrorist organization was Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In like manner, that too needs to be investigated.
The Police and the Military Intelligence have apparently not seen the connection in this light nor presented composite cumulative intelligence reports. Instead various incidents have been dealt with only as common crimes in an ad hoc manner. The connection had missed their attention.
A further significance of the intelligence let-down is that the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, (PCI) meeting at leisure, did neither comprehend nor figure out the total context of the events of the last few days with the incidents during the previous three/four years.
The Conspiracy Theory
Prima facie evidence has now come up revealing a conspiracy in the Easter Sunday bombings. Outgoing Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera (DdL) too, having gone through all investigation notes, has come to the conclusion of the conspiracy theory. This indicates that the investigation has not been properly handled to a logical conclusion. If properly investigated it would lead to a larger picture. Surely, none of the conspirators would have acted on his own. They have all acted in concert. Then who was the leader?
The conspirators have undoubtedly acted in concert. But not so the investigators into the conspiracy. On the contrary, they have been working at cross purposes. Out-going AG, DdL, only mentions in passing, that there has been a conspiracy in the Easter Sunday Bombings. He did not think it fit to discuss the conspiracy forthwith with the CID before leaving. Rather curious attitude!
There were investigating officers in the CID with undisputed expertise. In this case, when the CID team led by S/DIG Ravi Seneviratne was getting a breakthrough in the conspiracy theory, Shani Abeysekara, who was assisting him is arrested on trumped up charges, signalling the knell to a well-planned cohesive investigation. As to who gave the orders for this arrest, adds to the mysteries.
Is the CID presently not privy to all this? What excuse has the CID not to go all out to investigate the conspiracy to a logical conclusion on the prima facie evidence that has been disclosed? Little wonder, speculation is rife that the CID has been transformed to a hit-squad and has lost its essential purpose.
Does the IG Police who stated in public that he has been given a free hand to do his job, not see the importance and urgency to investigate this conspiracy?
In fairness to all the people who were killed in the bombings, and to the people who are eagerly watching the progress of the investigation, is it not high time that a full-scale investigation be ordered, perhaps with assistance from Scotland Yard and allowing independent observers? It is only such a step that will show there is nothing to hide?
*The writer is a Retired Senior Superintendent of Police. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org