President Sirisena, in a defensive and self- glorifying speech at the parliament stated that he was informed of the Easter Sunday attacks at 10.00 AM. As Singapore current time is two and half hours ahead Sri Lanka time, 10.00 AM Singapore time would mean that it was 7.30 AM Sri Lanka time. The synchronised suicide bombings that claimed over 250 lives occurred between 8.30 to 9.00 AM Sri Lanka time.
“Fundamentally, on 21st April when this incident occurred as known to all, I was criticized for being overseas. Whilst I was in Singapore, on 21st of April at 10.00 AM it was reported to me. I thought about this incident at this time, and I was shaken and pained. I wondered how this happened. It was not possible to understand in the first instance that an international terrorist organisation was involved,” the President said last night.
“I got to know about the incident at 10.00 AM whilst in Singapore. At about 12.00 PM, a friend of mine who was with me showed me a letter issued by a DIG that was shared on social media. When I saw that letter I thought that the security forces have known about this incident beforehand,” Sirisena told parliament.
“If the President meant 10.00 AM Singapore time, then it confirms that the President cum Commander In Chief of our republic was informed of the attacks good one hour ahead of the bombings. Alternatively, if he meant 10.00 AM Sri Lanka time then he was informed of this national emergency a good two and a half hours after the incident. Both these scenarios are equally disturbing. The first possibility shows callous and criminal negligence of duty and the second, a dangerous breakdown of communication,” our source at the Ministry of Defence who wishes to remain anonymous for obvious reasons told Colombo Telegraph.
“President’s speech today can be a game changer for the Malalgoda Commission appointed to look in to the security and administrative failures connected to this terror attack. As done by the Bond Scam Commission, the phone recordings of those concerned should be scrutinised. They must be used to establish if the impending attack was informed to the President. Phone recording of calls between the President and DIG Jayawardhane should be analysed, Further, gate logs of the Presidential Secretariat and the President’s residence should also be scrutinised to confirm the encounters between the two. The minutes and log entries of meetings that occurred prior to the bombings, between the President and DIG Jayawardhane, should be perused,” our source further stated.
The Sunday Times Political Column of 05th May reported that at a meeting with an opposition delegation which comprised of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa, G.L. Peiris, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Dullas Alahapperuma (SLPP), Dinesh Gunawardena (Mahajana Eksath Peramuna), Wimal Weerawansa (National Freedom Front), Vasudeva Nanayakkara (Democratic Left Front), Udaya Gammanpila (Pivithuru Hela Urumaya) and Tissa Vitharana (Lanka Sama Samaja Party), President Sirisena rubbished Colombo Telegraph’s exclusive report that he was pre-warned thrice about these bombings. Interestingly none of the MPs of the opposition present had made any comment discrediting Colombo Telegraph.
The Sunday Times said: “In high security circles, serious concerns have been raised over a turf war that is going on particularly within the State Intelligence Service (SIS). It is the premier national intelligence agency. As reported earlier, a plethora of so-called “intelligence reports” warning against actions by Sri Lankan pro-ISIS terror groups were released to the social media. Then came reports saying that the SIS Director DIG Nilantha Jayawardena had a meeting with President Sirisena to personally brief him on the threats – a claim strongly denied by Sirisena. Now, tape-recorded mobile phone conversations have been selectively leaked, raising the all-important question whether elements within were endangering national security interests, whilst engaged in a game of pointing the finger at the highest levels of the government. In the process, they are also baring the fact that mobile phones are also being snooped on with new equipment. One need hardly say this is an extremely dangerous situation. The question is whether this would also be ignored much the same way intelligence warnings were.
The matter transpired at the discussion President Sirisena had with leaders of the Opposition parties. He named the person behind one English website operating from London and declared they had reported that he received a personal warning from SIS Chief DIG Nilantha Jayawardena. This so-called exclusive account, the President claimed, was a fabrication. A loquacious UNF minister also made reference to the claim at a news conference on Tuesday saying it was true, but added the remarks were off-the-record. Yet, what he said has been tape recorded by many who attended the event.”
A President’s Counsel commenting to Colombo Telegraph on the condition of anonymity stated “analyse carefully the content and the body language during the President’s speech. They only reinforce his track record as a pathological liar. Day by day he has been changing the story about his involvement in the failure to protect the security of the nation. He took great care not to respond to a single allegation levelled against him about being aware of the impending threat of the bombings. Unlike other politicians implicated, he ensured not to even mention that ‘he was not informed of this threat’. That omission was not by chance. It was deliberate avoidance of blame and questions from the opposition. He purposively avoided mentioning whether he meant 10.00 AM Singapore time or Sri Lanka time. His speech was cunningly crafted to wriggle out of responsibility”
“This story has more loopholes than the obvious bungle ups. Sirisena left the country with his family to Thirupathi to obtain the blessings for his Son Daham’s impending wedding. He left his family in Thrupathi and travelled alone to Singapore. What was the purpose his lone holiday to Singapore? Whom did he meet? What was he avoiding? What was the important thing or person at Singapore end that made Sirisena completely neglect the thrice warned national security issue?,” a Foreign Ministry source asked.
“Is Sirisena attempting to absolve his sins by getting an interim report issued by Justice Malalgoda that resulted in punishing the former defence secretary and the IGP? They were innocent people who were slain while praying their God. The role of the Malalgoda commission, therefore, borders on the divine. The integrity of the members of the commission are hanging in the balance. Over two hundred and fifty death are on one side of the balance. We are closely watching Justice Malalgoda and the two other gentlemen to see what their legacy would be. Will they do justice to 250 perished souls and their ever grieving families? Will they do justice by the citizens who are demanding justice? Will they do a job that would allow them to sleep in peace at night?,” These are the questions that the Malalgoda Commission should answer, the President’s Counsel said.
Listen to the speech from 01 hour: 41 minutes from the link below to listen to the President’s speech: