Sri Lanka blasts: President Maithripala Sirisena says he was not informed about intelligence warnings on deadly bombings
President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena said he was not informed about the intelligence warnings ahead of the blasts at churches and hotels that killed over 350 people.
'I would have taken immediate action,' Sirisena said, had he been informed about the intelligence warnings.
Junior defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene acknowledged that the information not being shared with the president was 'a major lapse'.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had also acknowledged that police had intelligence about the suicide attacks but had failed to act on it.
President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday said he was not informed about the warnings intelligence officials had received regarding the apparent threat to churches before the deadly blasts in the country, which killed over 350 people.
Sirisena, who is also the defence and law and order minister of Sri Lanka, said on a national televised address that State intelligence agencies did not pass on the information they had received. "If they had done so, I would have taken immediate action. I have decided to take strict action against those who failed in their duty," he was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
Sri Lankan junior defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene, on Wednesday, acknowledged that intelligence inputs not being shared with the president was "a major lapse". On Tuesday, he had told Parliament that according to the initial investigation into the devastating blasts in Sri Lanka, they appeared to have been carried out in retaliation to the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand on 15 March, in which 50 people were killed.
In the same nationwide address, the president said he will initiate a complete rejig of the security forces and the police under his control in the coming days, including key leadership changes in "24 hours". He vowed a major shake-up of the military's top brass in the wake of the deadly Easter suicide bombings, after the government admitted warnings were ignored.
"The restructuring of the security forces and the police will be completed within a week," he said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had acknowledged that police had intelligence about the suicide strikes against churches and luxury hotels before the bombings on Easter Sunday, but had failed to act on it.
An investigation was underway to establish why police did not share intelligence with Wickremesinghe's office, he told reporters on Tuesday, shortly before the president's address.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the series of bombings at three Catholic churches and three high-end hotels, and released a photo of the people it said were responsible.
With inputs from AFP
India vs Sri Lanka: 'Emotional' Ruturaj Gaikwad banking on core strength of adaptability in upcoming tour
The youngster, who rose to prominence after his successful stint with IPL team Chennai Super Kings, said he is looking to reconnect with Rahul Dravid, who would be head coach of the team. Dravid has, in the past, coached the Indian under-19 and A teams.
Sri Lankan cricketers refuse to sign reduced pay contracts, but will take part in upcoming England white-ball tour
Players also accused the board of violating confidentiality by publicly disclosing their proposed salaries.
The inaugural edition was won by Jaffna Stallions, who were led by Thisara Perera.