Weerasekera refutes allegations that State Intelligence Service had connections with Zahran Hashim
Responding to allegations made by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MPs Harin Fernando and Manusha Nanayakkara in Parliament who claimed that the Easter bomber Zaharan Hashim’s wife’s CID statements were not taken into account, and that Hashim was paid and maintained by the Government, Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekera said that all allegations posed against him and the State Intelligence Services were untrue and did not have backing proof.
He made this statement while speaking in Parliament today (11).
“The accusations made by Manusha and Harin do not have backing proof. They are baseless and not true. The accusations made by Manusha and Harin stated that the State Intelligence Services visited the Easter Attacks Suspects’ house before the attacks took place. They accuse that Hadiya, Hashims wife, made a statement which was 22 pages long, whereas in none of the pages does she say that the State Intelligence Services had visited her prior to the attacks,” said Weerasekera.
The Minister of Public Security went on to say that if Nanayakkara and Fernando do have proof to support their allegations, they must present the proof openly.
“There is another statement from Hadiya Hashim that is 122 pages long. Even in that statement, not once has she mentioned that the State Intelligence Services had visited her home. To clear his doubts, Harin Fernando can come to the CID and clarify with these documents. There is another statement made by Hadiya which is 362 pages long, that can be referred to as well,” he mentioned.
Weerasekera also added that legal action can be taken against Fernando and Nanayakkara for spreading false rumours about the Easter attacks investigation amongst the public.
“Lakshman Kiriella had gone with some other people to visit the Cardinal in May. They tried to get the Cardinal to speak up and accuse the Government of having close relations with Zahran Hashim and the Thowheed Jamath. Whereas, the Cardinal had instead handed over a letter stating the accusations. In response to this, the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) at the Police, said that no conversation or relation has happened between the State Intelligence Services and the Hashim family. This was confirmed after thorough investigations by the TID. This document will also be tabled in Parliament today” Weerasekera stated.
Additionally, Weerasekera mentions that Zahran Hashim’s wife had been questioned by the CID twice before the Easter attacks in 2018 and 2019, and said that during both instances, Hashims wife Hadiya and Feroza, who is the wife of the Zion church bomber, stated that they lived separately from their husbands.
“This alone contradicts the statement made by Harin Fernando that the State Intelligence services had met with Zahran Hashim and his wife at their residence,” Weerasekera stated, adding that according to the CID Director Shani Abeysekera, if the previous government and investigators had done their job properly, the Easter attacks could have been prevented.
“I would like to clearly mention that Harin thinks that he is always right, whereas it is clear now that Harin Fernando is a liar and not true to his word,” remarked Weerasekera.
Further, Weerasekera refuted claims of a lorry laden with firearms that Fernando claimed was stopped by the State Intelligence Services and then released, was actually live fish which was being transported from the Katunayake airport to a location in Horana. The lorry was not stopped for long due to the limited supply of oxygen for the fish.
“The lorry was checked at several places including the airport and the animal quarantine centre, and nowhere does it mention that the lorry was laden with firearms or any illegal items. The fish were imported by a company in Rajagiriya and all relevant documents were present to prove so. Once again, this proves that Fernando has made false allegations,” said Weerasekera.
Weerasekera also revealed that further to an investigation done in 2016 where it was discovered that illegal terrorist activities have been going on and the Yahapalanaya Government was informed, and Minister Wijeydasa Rajapaksa had also mentioned the same in Parliament, the Yahapalanaya Government had not taken any steps to prevent such a foretold attack.
In conclusion, Weerasekera states that the name Zahran Hashim had come up in many instances when racial attacks had taken place in Sri Lanka, whereas no one had done anything to stop the final and largest attack by the terrorists