President Maithripala Sirisena has reiterated to loyalists at an event held on May Day that he would be taking steps to arrest former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundara for their security failures that he claims led to the Easter Sunday bombings killing 250 people.
Speaking with loyalists after a May Day event at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on 1st May President Sirisena said that he had received the interim report by a special investigation committee headed by sitting supreme Court Judge Vijitha Malalgoda.
This is reiterating what the President said to security officers at the Defence Ministry two days ago even before he had received the interim report from the committee investigating security lapses that led to the bombings. The statements by the head of state who continues to desperately seek a scapegoat even though he has maintained full control of the entire security apparatus since October 2018 indicate that he was planning to put the entire responsibility for the attacks on the two officials and wipe his hands clean of responsibility.
Colombo Telegraph learns that Fernando is unwell and may seek medical treatment even as the first citizen of the country continues to blame him for the cold blooded murder of 250 people in order to protect himself and his pet police official SDIG Nilantha Jayawardane who heads the State Intelligence Service.
Colombo Telegraph has already revealed that Jayawardne briefed Sirisena on the intelligence reports about the impending suicide attacks on at least three occasions. The SIS head has also given testimony to the special investigative panel. However according to sources SDIG Jayawardane has tried to deflect blame on to the former Defence Secretary for the security lapses while whitewashing President Sirisena.
“They will protect each other,” said a Government official “Nilantha knows he told the president. The President knows Nilantha briefed him. Obviously the two of them cannot rat each other out so someone else has to be the fall guy,” the official said adding that the President’s actions were morally disgusting. According to the official the President was aware of the threat as early as 10 April when he was addressing a public gathering and seemed nervous to remain very long at the meeting. He seemed anxious and ill at east. Sources said the president may also have taken a longer holiday overseas in the belief that he was the actual target of the suicide attacks.
After Sirisena’s unconstitutional effort to make Mahinda Rajapaksa Prime Minister was defeated in December, he refused to give the Police Department and the Law and Order Ministry back to the UNP. To date he holds the police Department under his defence ministry unconstitutionally since the constitution as amended by the 19th Amendment only permits him to hold three ministries – Defence Environment and Mahaweli. However illegally Sirisena moved to gazette the police department under his defence ministry. The UNP and its Prime Minister has failed to resist this move or challenge the President’s unconstitutional actions in Court for the past six months even after the political crisis ended. Which these irresponsible and incompetent actions by the Prime Minister have been widely condemned by the public at large, the responsibility has to be borne by the President who has jealously guarded his Minsitry fo Defence and access to high level security officials and intelligence agencies refusing toe allow his prime minister and even the IGP to even attend National Security meetings even though the composition of the NSC includes both the PM and the Head of the Police.