PSC summons top defence officials

By Skandha Gunasekara

The parliamentary select committee (PSC) appointed to probe the Easter Sunday terror attacks has summoned top defence officials on 29 May (Wednesday) to be questioned over incidents related to the tragedy.

According to sources in the PSC, the committee decided to summon former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, former Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangkoon, Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, and the Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne on Wednesday.

Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jjayasundara are already facing criminal charges over alleged negligence linked to the attacks.

Former Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangkoon was recently appointed as an Advisor to the Ministry of Defence.

He is also a member of a committee appointed by the President to look into some of the incidents related to the attacks.

Fernando and Jayasundara had allegedly been aware of intelligence reports warning of an attack a few days before the bombings took place, but had not shared the information with the relevant authorities.

Sources said that following the meeting on Wednesday, the PSC will meet again on 4 June.

The committee has also sought representations from the public, through newspaper advertisements published yesterday.

The committee consists of 20 MPs from the ruling party, 13 MPs representing the main Opposition, five MPs from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), and two MPs representing the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

The committee is to submit a report either within three months from its inaugural meeting or before the completion of the three months on a date set by Parliament.