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Sri Lanka: Suspended Police chief blames Sirisena for not allowing him to attend NSC meetings

ANI | Updated: Jun 09, 2019 07:16 IST

Colombo [Sri Lanka], June 6 (ANI): Sri Lanka’s suspended police chief Pujith Jayasundara on Thursday told the special parliamentary select committee, appointed to probe the Easter Sunday blasts, that President Maithripala Sirisena had denied him from attending any meetings of the National Security Council since last year.
The National Security Council (NSC) of Sri Lanka is the executive body of the Sri Lankan government that is charged with the maintenance of national security with authority to direct the Sri Lankan military and Police.
Daily Mirror [Sri Lanka] quoted Jayasundara as saying that the message of the President was transmitted to him through the then Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando.
He further said the last meeting he attended was on October 23, 2018, days before a political rift emerged between Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last year.
Jayasundara and Fernando were scheduled to testify today before the PSC at 11 a.m. (local time) appointed to investigate the Easter terrorist attacks that rattled various parts of the country on April 21.
Colombo Page quoted acting Chairman Jayampathi Wickramaratne as saying that former Terrorist Investigation Division DIG Nalaka de Silva testified before the committee on Tuesday.
Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya has further decided to appoint a seven-judge bench to consider the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition against Jayasundara and Fernando for failing to prevent the attacks that targetted three churches and high-end hotels, even when intelligence information had forewarned, Daily Mirror [Sri Lanka] reported.
The case is to be taken up on July 12.
Managing director of a travel company, Janath S.Vidanage, who filed the petition before the Supreme Court, is seeking a declaration that the respondents, including Jayasundara, Fernando, DIG Priyalal Dasanayake and Attorney General, had violated the fundamental rights to equality and equal protection by law as well as the freedom to engage in lawful occupation and business.
The suspended police chief had accused Sirisena of failing to prevent the Easter bombings that killed over 250 people as he filed a petition in the Supreme Court, last month, against his "unfair dismissal" over the catastrophic intelligence failure.
Jayasundara was reportedly sent on compulsory leave by Sirisena for his alleged inaction on the intelligence shared by India, which warned of an impending attack by Islamic militants, and thereby, failing to prevent the eight serial blasts on April 21.
In the petition, Jayasundara revealed a serious lack of communication between intelligence agencies and security arms of the government, all which fall under Sirisena. (ANI)