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Prez is not the mastermind behind Easter attacks, nor was it a path for him to come to power: Defence Secy

16 Dec 2021

Responding to allegations made by certain groups who claim that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the mastermind behind the Easter attacks as it served as a catalyst for him to come to power, Defence Secretary Retd. General Kamal Gunaratne at a press conference yesterday (15) rejected such allegations. “Many people tried to create the impression that the President was the mastermind behind the attacks  and that they were carried out to pave the way for him to come to power. Some people are trying to engage in such shameful strategies to gain political advantage. That is a very pathetic situation,” he said. Gunaratne also rejected allegations that intelligence units had paid the group including Zahran Hashim who carried out the attacks.  “After I was appointed as the Secretary to the Defence Ministry, I launched a full scale investigation into such allegations. They are completely false,” he stated. In terms of the attempts to link the State Intelligence Service Director Suresh Sallay to the conspiracy behind the attacks, the Defence Secretary said that Sallay is a skilled and valuable officer who served this country by placing his life at risk and that he does not have extremist views. “Salley is a Muslim name, but as far as I know he is not involved in such matters. He cannot even speak a word in Tamil, nor can he speak in Arabic. He has not read the Quran, he is married to a Buddhist. If I am not mistaken he has two children, both of them have Sinhalese names. Therefore he does not have extremist views,” Gunaratne said.

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