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Easter Sunday attacks: Shani’s FR petition alleges cover-up

  • Alleges involvement of State intelligence services
  • Charges Directorate of Military Intelligence hid information
  • Requests interim order preventing arrest

By Skandha Gunasekara

A Fundamental Rights (FR) petition, filed last week by former Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Director Shani Abeysekara, has alleged the involvement of Intelligence services in the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks.

Involvement of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) and the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) in the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks has been revealed through this petition.

Former CID Chief Abeysekara, filing this FR petition with the Supreme Court, has requested an interim order restraining the Police from arresting and/or otherwise detaining him.

Through the FR submitted, the former head detective has brought to light previously unknown information about possible links the SIS and the DMI had with the mastermind of the terror attacks, M.C.M. Zaharan [Zaharan Hashim], and the terrorist group, the National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ).

According to the petition, Abeysekara has alleged that the SIS and DMI had covered up the attack on the Vavunathivu Police post in order to mislead CID investigations.

“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 to prevent them from discovering the real assailants involved in the murder,” the petition has stated.

Abeysekara had also revealed that the DMI had intentionally hidden knowledge of one of the bombers – Abdul Lathif Jamil – from the CID.

“..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 Zaharan and dismantle the NTJ,” the petition has alleged.

The petition has also revealed that contact between an Intelligence officer and Zaharan Hashim had been uncovered by FBI investigations, but that interrogation of the Intelligence officer was prevented by the DMI.

The Petitioner has also stated that the CID had begun interrogating said individual, who had refused to give any information about his connection to M.C.M. Zaharan or to the NTJ. 

The Petitioner has further alleged that thereafter, the Ministry of Defence, through the then DMI Director Brigadier Chula Kodithuwakku, had prevented the CID from detaining said individual, asserting that the activities of said individual were classified as national security reasons as his activities were part of a secret Military Intelligence operation.

Further, SIS Senior DIG Sampath Liyanage had allegedly attempted to stop the CID from interrogating SIS officer SI Bandara, who allegedly had connections to NTJ member Matale Zaharan alias ‘Podi Zaharan’.

The explosive allegations made by the former CID Chair come in the wake of senior figures in the Catholic Church calling for the Government to hold an independent investigation into the deadly attacks, and indicating their willingness to seek international intervention to investigate the biggest terror attack in Sri Lanka after the internal conflict came to an end in 2009.