- Desperate GR Administration seeks to pin blame for Easter terror attacks on Shani Abeysekera
- FR filed to prevent re-arrest of ex CID Chief exposes massive cover-up by intelligence
- CID probe into NTJ and Zaharan before bombings repeatedly obstructed by military and intel agencies
- Shani’s Easter probe linked code name Sonic-Sonic’s SIM to Sub Inspector at State Intelligence Service
- FR Petition reveals military intelligence knew whereabouts of failed Taj bomber Jamil before attacks
- Court filings provide unprecedented, extensive detail into Shani’s NTJ probe
- Reinforce concerns raised about intelligence/political hand in Easter bombings and Govt. cover-up
Former Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Director SSP (Rtd) Shani Abeysekera filed a petition in Supreme Court on Friday (18), seeking to prevent his arrest in connection with a set of fresh charges the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration wants to bring against him.
The 36-page petition is a bombshell exposé about investigations Abeysekera led into the Easter Sunday mastermind and his terror cell prior to the bombings in April 2019, and reinforces previous suspicions voiced by no less than the Head of Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church about a political hand behind the terror attacks that killed 269 people.
In his application before the country’s highest court, the decorated CID officer claims that an attempt was being made to falsely implicate him by alleging that he had been derelict in his duties during the investigation into the National Thowheed Jama’aath (NTJ) and the mastermind of the Easter Sunday attack, M.H.M. Zahran.
SSP Abeysekera’s petition to Supreme Court charges that there was an attempt to wrongfully arrest and detain him under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Abeysekera claims the B report submitted to a magistrate in connection with this investigation into his conduct of the NTJ probe was prepared for “collateral purposes” and tainted with malice and abuse of process. The intention was to “get revenge” from Abeysekera because he had led probes into “many high-profile cases during the period from 2015 to 2019 which included the investigations against “persons of high ranks” in the present regime, the police and armed forces.
The attempt to throw the super sleuth back into remand stemmed from the Government’s bitterness over Abeysekera’s investigations into the Easter Sunday terror attacks in 2019, and what his probes into grave human rights crimes such as the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge and enforced disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda revealed about President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s involvement in these and other crimes, Colombo Telegraph learns. As CID Director in 2019, Abeysekera’s swift work in the immediate aftermath of the bombings led to the identification of the bombers and their movements within hours of the attack. SSP Abeysekera’s investigations have revealed the shadowy hand of state intelligence services (SIS) in the terror attacks and exposed the Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime to the wrath of the Catholic church and its leadership over the Government’s failure to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The cold war between the Government and the Catholic church has led to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith boycotting the Independence Day event in Colombo and calling off February 4 services at the All Saints Church in Borella. The Church has openly accused the Government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his Intelligence Services of being behind a conspiracy to attack churches before the 2019 presidential elections.
The former CID Director is asking the Supreme Court to intervene to prevent the imminent infringement of his fundamental rights. Less than a year ago, the Court of Appeal tore the police case against Shani Abeysekera to pieces in a bail order, calling the charges a sham designed to ‘prejudice and harm’ the star criminal investigator and former CID Chief by the ‘backers of convicted murderers.”
Colombo Telegraph learns that the CID has stepped up efforts to arrest Abeysekera and detain him under the draconian PTA, to deflect blame from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was swept to office in 2019 promising justice for victims of the Easter terror attacks.
Instead the former CID Chief’s court filings tell a damning story of how his department (CID) faced obstruction, obfuscation and interference in their investigations against Zahran and the NTJ from as far back as November 2018. The petition before the Supreme Court reveals that interference came from within the State Intelligence Service, then headed by Maithripala Sirisena loyalist SDIG Nilantha Jayawardane and the Directorate of Military Intelligence.
Read Shani Abeysekera’s damning fundamental rights petition here
I. Failed Taj bomber Jamil & Military Intelligence
For over a year now speculation has been rife about the odd dalliance between the military intelligence and failed Taj Samudra bomber Jamil, who later detonated his explosive device inside a small motel in Dehiwala. In his testimony before the Presidential Commission investigating the Easter Sunday attacks, former IGP Pujith Jayasundara claimed that Jamil had been in touch with an intelligence officer shortly before he detonated his bomb in Dehiwala on April 21, 2019.
Shani Abeysekera’s petition before the Supreme Court makes the following observations regarding Jamil, the CID’s manhunt for him and the facts that make it obvious he was a person known to the Military Intelligence all along.
“The Petitioner further states that later it was revealed that Military Intelligence officers have firstly visited Jamil’s mother’s house in Wellampitiya to find the whereabouts of Jamil, and after that proceeded to the house of Jamil in Dematagoda before the blast in Tropical Inn occurred, without ever informing the CID who were engaged in the investigation of M.C.M. Saharan and NTJ at the time being. In the said circumstances, it can be reasonably inferred that despite repeated requests by the CID for assistance in locating M.C.M. Saharan, military officers attached to DMI had prior knowledge of Abdul Lathif Jamil’s identity, his role in the NTJ and his whereabouts, but for reasons yet unknown they have decided not to share
this information with the CID to help apprehend Saharan and dismantle the NTJ.”
II. Sonic-Sonic and SIS link
The former CID Chief’s filings in court reveal hitherto unpublicised evidence linking the mysterious code-name “Sonic-Sonic” that has been the subject of much speculation, directly to the State Intelligence Service, then led by Sirisena stooge cop, SDIG Nilantha Jayawardane. Abeysekera’s investigations into the SIM card used by the individual known as “Sonic-Sonic” was based on the apprehension of NTJ associate known as “Podi Zaharan” from Matale. His investigations led to a female traffic police officer in the Colombo City Division, who confessed that she had given this SIM card to her lover, another sub-inspector of police attached to the State Intelligence Service (SIS).
The petition details the events that transpired as follows:
“The Petitioner states that through the investigations conducted after the Easter Attacks the CID was able to find out about a person called “Podi Saharan” alias “Matale Saharan” who lived in Matale, who had connections with NTJ. The Petitioner further states that the said “Podi Saharan” was arrested by Police Officers attached to Matale Police station and later on the same day he was again arrested by the CID.
The Petitioner states that while the said “Podi Saharan” was being interrogated by the CID it was transpired that he had communicated with a person called “Sonic Sonic”, thereafter the CID was able to locate the sim of the said “Sonic Sonic” through an IP address. The Petitioner states that upon said revelation the CID investigated the details pertaining to SIM cards and IP addresses used by the said “Sonic Sonic”.
“The Petitioner states that according to the investigations it was revealed that the SIM which was used by “Sonic Sonic” has been obtained under the name of a policewoman sergeant attached to Colombo City Traffic Division. The Petitioner states that consequently, the CID interrogated the said woman police sergeant and she revealed that she has given the said SIM card to one Sub Inspector Bandara who is attached to the SIS, whom she claimed to have an affair with.
“The Petitioner states that the CID proceeded to interrogate said SI Bandara and at that time DIG SIS Sampath Liyanage contacted the Petitioner and informed him to not to proceed with the said interrogation as the involvement of SI Bandara with Podi Saharan is a part of covert operation which is directly connected to the national security. However, the Petitioner refused to follow the request of said DIG and managed to get a statement, but the said Sub Inspector Bandara took the same stand in his statement and refused to divulge any information with regard to his connection with the said “Podi Saharan”.
III. Vavunathivu (Batticaloa) cop killings – November 2018
Two ex-LTTE cadres were initially arrested in connection with the murder of two police officers in Vavunathivu, Batticoloa about six months before the Easter Sunday bombings. Following the terror attacks in April 2019, the revolvers belonging to the cops were found in the possession of a NTJ suspect linked to Zaharan’s terror cell, leading to the conclusion that Zaharan and the NTJ had been behind the murders.
Shani Abeysekera’s fundamental rights petition in court details the herculean efforts made by the Directorate of Military Intelligence to pin the blame for these cop killings on the LTTE and deflect attention away from the NTJ or its affiliates. The CID even suspected that the DMI and the SIS had colluded to plant evidence in order to lead police officers to the ex-LTTE cadres rather than to the real culprits. The details revealed by Abeysekera in court tie directly into assertions by former Terrorist Investigation Division DIG Nalaka Silva, who was ordered by SDIG Nilantha Jayawardane’s SIS to stop his investigations into the NTJ and Zaharan in 2018.
At the time of the Vavunathivu cop killings, DIG Nalaka Silva, who was very much on Zaharan’s trail by that time, was behind bars on false charges of plotting to kill President Maithripala Sirisena. The man responsible for making those claims public which led to Nalaka Silva’s six month long imprisonment, was Namal Kumara, an ex military intelligence officer and employee of Avant Garde Maritime Services, run by Gotabaya Rajapaksa loyalist, Nissanka Senadhipathi.
The petition states the following regarding the cop-killings in Vavunathivu, Batticaloa in 2018:
“The Petitioner states that later, the investigations conducted after the Easter Sunday attacks it was revealed that the said Ajanthan and the ex LTTE member is not responsible for the murder of police officers and that the said Ajanthan and the ex-LTTE member had been falsely framed for the murder of police officers by the intelligence services (DMI and SIS). The Petitioner further states that the DMI and SIS are suspected to have conspired to plant the motorcycle jacket in a school bag, to mislead CID investigations on the murder of two police officers in to prevent them from discovering the real assailants involved in the murder. The Petitioner further states that due to the confusions caused by the SIS and DMI, CID officers discovered only after the attacks of Easter Sunday, that the murder of the two officers was committed by the NTJ terror group led by M.C.M Saharan, which is more fully described in the following paragraphs.”
IV: The Intelligence Officer directly linked to Zaharan
Shani Abeysekera’s petition also reveals that the Director of Military Intelligence directly intervened to remove an individual being interrogated by the CID for his consistent communications with Zahran, based on evidence discovered by the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), which was collaborating with the CID in the first days after the bombings.
The petition details the interference as follows:
“The Petitioner states that after the Easter Sunday Attacks, the CID officers became aware through the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about an Internet Protocol (IP) address belonging to an individual who had been in frequent communication with M.C.M. Saharan which was discovered by analyzing computers, mobile devices and internet accounts tied to Easter attackers. The Petitioner states that the CID began interrogating the said individual who refused to give any information about his connection to M.C.M. Saharan or to NTJ. The Petitioner further states that thereafter, the Ministry of Defense through the then DMI Director Brigadier Chula Kodithuwakku prevented the CID from detaining the said individual asserting that that the activities of the said individual were classified as national security reasons as his activities were part of a secret military intelligence operation”