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.

FP Staff April 24, 2019 12:37:00 IST
Sri Lanka blasts: President Maithripala Sirisena says he was not informed about intelligence warnings on deadly bombings
  • '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 Lanka blasts President Maithripala Sirisena says he was not informed about intelligence warnings on deadly bombings

File image of Sri Lanka president Maithripala Sirisena. Reuters

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

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Syed Ali Shah Geelani's exit from Hurriyat marks not just sunset of the jihadist patriarch, but likely collapse of the separatist alliance
India

Syed Ali Shah Geelani's exit from Hurriyat marks not just sunset of the jihadist patriarch, but likely collapse of the separatist alliance

Syed Ali Shah Geelani's resignation letter shows he committed the same errors he had observed among the jihadists in the 1990s: the New Islamist movement he built, degenerated into a kind of nihilist anti-politics, incapable of actual political purpose

ICC ACU says no reason to doubt integrity of 2011 World Cup final, dismisses fixing allegation
First Cricket News

ICC ACU says no reason to doubt integrity of 2011 World Cup final, dismisses fixing allegation

ICC Anti-Corruption Unit chief Alex Marshall said they had not been presented with any evidence that would merit an investigation into the allegations of the 2011 World Cup final being fixed.

'Would like to know who's involved': BCCI on T20 near Chandigarh streamed as Sri Lanka's Uva league match
First Cricket News

'Would like to know who's involved': BCCI on T20 near Chandigarh streamed as Sri Lanka's Uva league match

A T20 match played near Chandigarh but streamed online as a game in Sri Lanka has caught the attention of BCCI's Anti-Corruption Unit, the Punjab Police and the island country's cricket board