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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Easter Sunday bombings: Writ filed before CA against S.DIG Jayawardana

A writ application has been filed before the Court of Appeal (CA), seeking an order directing the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Deshabandu Tennakoon to arrest former State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director and incumbent Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardana over the latter’s failure to prevent the Easter Sunday terror attacks on 21 April 2019.

The application has been filed by attorney Manushika Cooray the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) in Maradana, its Director Fr. Rohan Fernando, and Suraj Nilanga, a father whose son was killed in the bombing at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on 21 April 2019.

In the application, the petitioners have said that the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) which investigated the terror attacks had recommended legal action against Jayawardana in its final report. They also said that the Supreme Court (SC), concluding the hearing of several fundamental rights (FR) petitions, had also ruled that Jayawardana is one of those who should be held responsible for not having prevented the terror attacks.

parties had lodged complaints with the Police, seeking an investigation against Jayawardana, but none of those complaints had been attended to. Considering the matters, they requested the CA to direct the Attorney General (AG) to initiate the necessary legal action against him as per the COI’s recommendations, and direct the IGP to investigate the related complaints and arrest him.

On 21 April 2019, Easter Sunday, three churches and three luxury hotels in Colombo were targeted in a series of co-ordinated suicide bombings. Later that day, another two bomb explosions took place at a house in Dematagoda and the Tropical Inn Lodge in Dehiwala. A total of 269 people were killed in the bombings while more than 500 people were injured.

Later, the COI had, in its final report, recommended that the AG consider instituting criminal proceedings against Jayawardana under suitable provisions of the penal code over the terror attacks. According to the COI report, the first communication he made in writing after receiving the intelligence information regarding a possible terror attack on 4 April 2019, was to then Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) Sisira Mendis by letter dated 7 April 2019. “It is titled “Information of an alleged plan of attack” and the COI, during his testimony before it, queried why the term ‘alleged’ was used when the foreign counterpart that sent him the intelligence information has not, and his response was “They say, we don’t know”. The COI, considering Jayawardana’s evidence before it, had concluded that he had not taken the said intelligence information seriously.

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