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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Justice for Easter Sunday victims: Joint appeal by Catholic clergy to President Rajapaksa

(20 July 2021)

Your Excellency,

It is now 26 months since the Easter Sunday bomb attack of the 21st April 2019. And by now nearly five months are gone after the presentation of the final Report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to investigate this attack. Yet we are truly saddened by the lethargic pace at which the State machinery is moving in order to find those who are responsible for these attacks, those who planned it and those who, even though they had forewarnings about it and could have easily prevented it, did not fulfill that responsibility and willfully neglected it, and bring them before the law.

We are faced with the puzzle as to why and for what reason those in authority are delaying or neglecting their duty in implementing the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry which had cost the public millions of rupees. And so, we urge you to pay your attention to the following aspects of the matter and to ensure that justice is meted out to those who suffered as a result of these attacks.

Implementing the recommendations of the Presidential Commission: – the 19th Chapter of the final report of the Presidential Commission is titled: “Accountability”. The chapter begins by stating: “the mandate of the COI requires it to identify all authorities who are responsible for failure to prevent the terrorist attacks that took place on 21st April 2019 and to identify the authorities who failed to perform their duties and did not take proper action due to incapacity” [Final Report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, 1, p. 243].

1.    President Maithripala Sirisena :

Considering the evidence on the events that happened prior to 19th April 2019 involving the Easter Sunday attack, the Commission presents its observations as follows: “Upon a consideration of evidence of the facts before the 4th April 2019, the COI is of the view that President Sirisena has failed in his duties and responsibilities and that this failure transcends beyond mere civil negligence” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report Vol. 1, p. 263].

The Commission after assessing the evidence concerning the events* that took place after the attacks states: “based on the evidence, the COI is of the view that there is criminal liability on his part for the acts or omissions explained above. The COI recommends that the Attorney General consider instituting criminal proceedings against President Sirisena under any suitable provision in the Penal Code.” [Final Report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Vol. 1, p. 265].

As we know the relevant authorities of the Government have taken no action whatsoever so far on this recommendation of the Commission. It is our contention that the past five months or so would have been amply sufficient to at least initiate action on this recommendation.

2.    Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe : 

We place on record the following assessment of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe, Prime Minister after analyzing the evidence that emerged:

“Upon a consideration of the evidence, it is the view of the COI that the lax approach of Mr. Wickramasinghe towards Islam

* “The COI was provided evidence, in addition to the reports referred to above, of several telephone calls between Nilantha Jayawardena, Director SIS and the Presidential Secretariat. In fact President Sirisena, who testified after Nilantha Jayawardena acknowledged that he has received calls directly from Nilantha Jayawardena… Having observed the very close connection on the evidence between President Sirisena and Nilantha Jayawardena, the COI observes that on a balance of probability Nilantha Jaywardena did convey the intelligence received by him to President Sirisena between the 4th and 16th April 2019” – Page 264 – 265

Upon consideration of the evidence, it is the view of the COI that the lax approach of Mr. Wickremasinge towards the Islamic  extremism as the Prime Minister was one of the primary reasons for the failure on the part of the then Government to take proactive steps towards Islam extremism. This facilitated the build-up of Islam extremism to the point of the Easter Sunday attack.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 276-277].

We consider this attitude of a soft approach by Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe towards Islamic extremism as an irresponsible attitude. That being so, we fail to understand the reasons as to why the Presidential COI did not make any specific recommendation against him. Our view is that there should be additional investigations on this matter. We need not stress on the fact that, Mr. Wickramasinghe, inspite of his holding special powers under the 19th Amendment, took the above soft- approach. It is, in our view, a serious act of irresponsibility and neglect of duty.

Besides, over and above, the two political leaders we mentioned, the COI in its final report has indicated three other State Officers who neglected their duties to prevent the Easter attacks.

They are:

Secretary Defence, Mr. Hemasiri Fernando

CNI, Sisira Mendis

Director SIS, Nilantha Jayawardena

Among these we are aware that legal action has been instituted already against the then Defence Secretary, Mr. Hemasiri Fernando. The COI has made the following recommendations on the other two persons.

CNI Sisira Mendis
“Based on the evidence, the COI is of the view that there is criminal liability on his part for the acts or omissions explained above. The COI recommends the Attorney General consider instituting criminal proceedings against Mr. Sisira Mendis under any suitable provision in the Penal Code” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 285].

The Director of the SIS Nilantha Jayawardena SDIG:
“Based on the evidence, the COI is of the view that there is criminal liability on his part for acts or omissions explained above. COI recommends that the Attorney General consider instituting criminal proceedings against SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena under any suitable provision in the Penal Code”. [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 287-288].

Even though the Presidential COI had decreed it that way, it surprises us that such recommendations have not only not been followed but also promotions have been given to these same officers which is totally unacceptable and amounts to a ridiculing of the rule of Law. It is also an act of callous disregard and of inhumanity towards those human beings who lost their precious lives in the attacks and those who were maimed for life and the suffering caused to their families.

The 20th chapter of the Final Report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry [first volume] has been entitled; “Failures on the part of the Law Enforcement Authorities.” In that Chapter, the following State Officials have been named and recommendations

Inspector General Pujith Jayasundara:

We are aware that legal action has been already instituted against him.

Nandana Munasinghe, Senior DIG, Western Province:

The COI recommends that the Attorney General consider instituting criminal proceedings against SDIG Nandana Munasinghe under any suitable provision in the Penal Code or Section 82 of the Police Ordinance”. [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 312].

Deshabandu Tennekoon, DIG, Colombo North:

“Accordingly the COI recommends that a disciplinary inquiry should be conducted against him.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 313].

Sanjeewa Bandara, SP, Colombo North Division:
“Based on the evidence, the COI is of the view that there is criminal liability on his part for acts or omissions explained above. The COI recommends that the Attorney General consider instituting criminal proceedings against SP Sanjeewa Bandara, under any suitable provision in the Penal Code or Section 82 of the Police Ordinance”. [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 314].

Chandana Athukorale, Senior Superintendent of Police:
“Based on the evidence, the COI is of the view that there is criminal liability on his part for acts or omissions explained above. The COI recommends that the Attorney General consider instituting criminal proceedings against SSP Chandana Athukorale, under any suitable provision in the Penal Code or Section 82 of the Police Ordinance.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 315].

B. E. I. Prasanna, SP, Director, Western Province Intelligence Division :

The COI recommends that the Attorney General consider instituting criminal proceedings against SP B. E. I. Prasanna, Director, Western Province Intelligence Division, under any suitable provision in the Penal Code or Section 82 of the Police Ordinance.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 317].

Sisila Kumara, Assistant Superintendent of Police :

“The COI, therefore, recommends that a disciplinary inquiry should be conducted against him.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 318].

CI R. M. Sarath Kumarasinghe, Acting OCI, Fort:
“Based on the evidence, the COI is of the view that there is criminal liability on his part for acts or omissions explained above. The COI recommends that the Attorney General consider instituting criminal proceedings against CI R. M. Sarath Kumarasinghe under any suitable provision in the Penal Code or Section 82 of the Police Ordinance.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 320].

CI M. Sagara Wilegoda Liyanage, OIC Fort:
“Based on the evidence, the COI is of the view that there is criminal liability on his part for acts or omissions explained above. The COI recommends that the Attorney General consider instituting criminal proceedings against CI Sagara Wilegoda Liyanage, OIC Fort under any suitable provision in the Penal Code or Section 82 of the Police Ordinance.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 323].

Chaminda Nawaratne – OIC Katana:

“The COI, therefore, recommends that a disciplinary inquiry should be conducted against him.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 324].

C.    Officials of the Attorney General’s Department:

State Counsel Malik Azeez :

“Having considered the testimony of State Counsel Azeez and evidence before the COI, it is recommended that the Public Service Commission consider taking disciplinary action against SC Azeez.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 329].

Deputy Solicitor General Azad Navavi :

“Having considered the testimony of Deputy Solicitor General Navavi and evidence before the COI, it is recommended that the Public Service Commission consider taking disciplinary action against DSG Navavi.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 329].

– Persons who assisted these terror attacks in different ways:

Mr Rishad Bathiudeen :

“The COI, recommends that the Attorney General consider instituting criminal proceedings against Mr. Rishad Bathiudeen under any suitable provision of the Penal Code.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 333].

Mr Riyaj Bathiudeen :

“The COI, recommends that both these matters be referred to the Police to conduct necessary investigations and inquiries in addition to the earlier matter the COI recommended to be referred to the Bribery Commission above.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 342].

Muhamad Zulyan Muhamad Zafras :
“The COI, recommends that the Attorney General consider instituting criminal proceedings against   Dr.   Zafras under section 5 of the PTA for failure to give information.”

[Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 342].

Ahamed Lukman Thalib :
“In early February 2018, the deportation of a Sri Lankan, whose identity is known to authorities, arrested by Turkish authorities with Al-Qaida involvement was discussed. The Secretary of Defence instructed the CNI, CDS, IGP, Director SIS and Director DMI to analyze this matter further. This development should have been viewed with great caution in view of the contacts this person is alleged to have had according to foreign intelligence sources. In particular he had connections with a person identified as Abu Abdullah Al- Yemeni aka Abu Abdullah Al-Australi aka Ahamed Lukman Talib aka Abu Abdullah, who was identified as a probable Al- Qaida operative. Ahamed Lukman Talib aka Abu Abdullah facilitated the arms and weapons training in Syria to Sadeeq, Muneef and other SLJISM activists.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 75-76].

In an article written by journalist Keerthi Warnakulasuriya in the Sunday Divaina of 11th July 2021, further information on this person’s alleged connections with Al-Qaida and ISIS are given and the article also states that Talib’s father and he were deported by Qatar to Australia.

Was any serious investigation conducted by the Police or the CID in Sri Lanka into the activities and connections this person is alleged to have had with Al-Qaeda and ISIS? Are they aware of his presence now in Australia? Have the Qatari and Australian Authorities been contacted to find out details about the activities of this person?

M. L. A. M. Hisbullah :

“The COI, finds that the actions of Mr. Hisbullah facilitated the spread of extremism within Kattankudy.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 343].

Our request is that, based on all the evidence and the indications that have emerged at the Presidential COI, further inquiries be conducted with regard to Mr. M. L. A. M. Hisbullah.

Isn’t this terrible massacre which could have been easily prevented a crime at the hands of some of the above mentioned persons who having known about it before hand did not do anything to prevent it?

Shouldn’t there be further expeditious investigations in the case of the others mentioned whom the COI has indicated as those who had aided and abetted in this crime?

It is our view that the recommendations made by the COI should be urgently carried out and without fail. Yet, the fact that only few of those recommendations have actually been carried out causes us grave disillusionment.

We wish to then once again affirm that all the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Easter Sunday terror attacks should be carried out in a transparent and honest manner. To not only receive justice but to be able to see that justice indeed has been done is a right of all those who were victims of this disaster.

D.     We wish to also draw your attention not only to the recommendations of the Presidential COI but also to the following matters.

Some facts that emerged during the proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry but which have still remained Information about Pulasthini Rajendran or Sarah wife of the suicide bomber of the Katuwapitiya Church which continue to remain a deep

The first volume of the Presidential Commission final report refers to this matter as follows: “The COI received evidence of two witnesses who testified that Sarah was seen alive after Easter Sunday attacks and had fled to India. In her testimony Hadiya said that after the blast at Saindamarudu on 26th April 2019, she lost consciousness. After she regained it, she could faintly hear a voice of a woman which sounded like Sarah. The DNA analysis with the mother of Sarah did not establish that Sarah had died in the blast. In view of this testimony the COI recommends that investigations into Sarah be continued.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 223].

During the debate in Parliament on the Report of the Easter attack Commission several speakers raised issues on the disappearance of Sarah.

Hon. S. M. S. Marikkar MP: “The Committee has unveiled facts concerning Pulasthini Mahendran or Sarah. Chief Police Inspector Arjun Mahinkanda has given evidence that in September 2019 Sarah had been taken to Mannar from Batticoloa in a cab vehicle. Who accompanied her to Mannar? The Traffic OIC of the Kalawanchikudy Police Station called Abubaker has given evidence that she had fled to India.” [The Hansard of 25th March 2021, Volume 282 – Chapter 5, p. 727-728].

Hon. Manusha Nanayakkara MP: “It has been   told   that the wife of Hasthun, who carried out the Bomb attack at the Katuwapitiya Church, Pulasthini Mahendran or Sarah, had been accompanied by the former traffic OIC of Kalawanchikudy Police who lived in Akkaraipattu named Nagoor Thambi. He is now in CID custody.” [The Hansard of 25th March 2021, Volume 282 – Chapter 2, p. 282].

Hon. Rauf Hakeem MP: “two eye witnesses similarly have stated that they have seen the expatriation of Sarah to India

……..” [The Hansard of 7th April 2021, Volume 282 – Chapter 9,1303].

The former Attorney General Hon. Dappula De Livera in a discussion he had with News First journalist Sulfick Farzan on 17th May 2021 has stated as follows: “Commenting on the controversy surrounding Pulasthini Rajendram alias Sarah Jasmine, the Attorney General said her death at the Saindramandu gun battle followed by an explosion is yet to be confirmed. We understand that she fled to India, but that too is not confirmed. Actually her whereabouts remain unknown.” Said the Attorney General.

It is clear that Sarah is a very important witness in the matter of the entire investigation of the Easter attacks.

What truly happened to her?

What made the investigation teams fail to find her in the two years of their investigations up to now?

If, as it is stated, she was transferred from Batticoloa to Mannar by an Inspector of Police attached to the Police garage in Ampara, what was the connection she had with the Police?
Was there a need for the Police or someone connected to the Police to hide Sarah?
Why was it so?

It is said that the Police Officer who was attached to the Kalawanchikudy Police Station and was called Abubaker and who was in charge of the Police transport section of Kalawanchikudy had accompanied Sarah to Mannar. He is presently in CID custody. The other two who helped Sarah to flee are her aunt’s husband and his brother. It has been revealed that one of them is in Police custody while the other is living overseas.

Why is the Government taking so much time to bring her back to Sri Lanka when, as attested by Police Inspector Mahinkanda at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, there is enough evidence to prove that she had fled to India by boat through Mannar?

Police Inspector Mahinkanda had in his evidence further stated that a powerful person in that area supported her to Hasn’t the CID not found out who that powerful person is?

Looking at all these, we cannot but feel a justifiable doubt as to why even after more than one year has passed after receiving this information no clear action is being taken.

Is it because of the incapacity of the officials of the CID in Colombo or is it because there exists a powerful political hand behind this which does not wish Sarah to be ever found?
Who is the Military Intelligence Officer who met Jameel, the bomber who was to blast himself in the Taj Samudra Hotel? Several speakers alluded to this fact during the Parliamentary debate mentioned

– Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka MP: “Former IGP Pujith Jayasundara in his evidence stated that Jameel who went to explode a bomb at the Taj Samudra Hotel in Galle Face had been met by a person belonging to the Intelligence Services. Jameel was a member of the ISIS. Mr. Pujith Jayasundera had stated that when Jameel who failed to explode the bomb had gone back to the Hotel in Dehiwala where he had stayed, someone who had belonged to the Intelligence Unit of the Security Services had gone and met him. Later Jameel exploded the bomb and died. Was any inquiry conducted into this? Who is that officer of the Intelligence Services? There has been no inquiry whatsoever on this matter. Who are those Intelligence Service Officers who had links to these people? There has been no continuous inquiry on this.” [The Hansard of 26th March 2021, Volume 282 – Chapter 6, p. 774].

– Hon. Eran Wickremaratne MP: “The IGP Pujitha Jayasundara reveals about an official of the Army Intelligence who had met the person who exploded a bomb at the Dehiwala Hotel before the blast. What has the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the Easter attacks found out about this? Whom have they questioned? What are the details? Has that also been hidden citing national security?” [The Hansard, Volume 282 – Chapter 2, p. 252].

Pujith Jayasundara was the Inspector General of Police at the time of the Easter Sunday attacks. What then are the additional inquiries conducted concerning evidence given by him that a person attached to the Intelligence Services had indeed met with Jameel who was to explode a bomb at the Taj Samudra Hotel?

What was the contents of the telephone call that Jameel, who went to the Taj Samudra Hotel to blow himself up, receive?

Page 213 of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry report states as follows: “Jameel sits on a chair in the restaurant around 8.51 a.m. and takes the back pack he is wearing into his lap and begins to check the outside. Shortly thereafter there appears to be an incoming call on his phone. It is not clear what type of call or who the caller is. But the COI observed that the call came after Jameel started checking on his back pack.” [Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 190].

It is to be asked as to why no further mention is made in the report about this telephone call.

Is it that no further investigation was done on this telephone call?
It would have been quite easy to find out details about this call through checking on records of this service provider company. One could ask as to whether such a search wouldn’t have been important for the investigation?

4.   How come that personnel of the Military Intelligence went

in a haste looking for Jameel at his home, who was to blast the bomb at the Taj Samudra Hotel? Facts mentioned in the PCOI report on this matter:

19th April 2019:

13:23 Hrs – At the mosque found in Ebenezer Place (Dehiwela) Amir, an official of a private security agency, questions Jameel. Amir then takes a phone call to Jameel’s home. Omarkathar, the wife of Jameel answers the phone. After that Jameel leaves that place. About two or three minutes after that Amir receives a phone call from Jameel’s wife’s telephone. The one speaking is a man. He informs Amir in Tamil that since there is a family dispute he wants to take Jameel from where he is and asks Amir not let Jameel leave. Amir informs that person that Jameel has already left and besides, since he has another matter to attend to, he cannot attend to his request. [Confer pages 193-194 of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1].

5.00 p.m. in the evening – Amir receives a telephone call from a number not known to him. The voice at the other end was that of the same person who spoke to him in Tamil after Jameel left Ebenezer place. It was from a telephone number belonging to the Directorate of Military Intelligence [DMI]. He, Amir, is asked to come to the Wellawatte Police Station. Amir goes and meets a person of the DMI [From the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Final Report, Vol. 1, p. 194].

What was stated at the Parliamentary debate:

–   Hon. Anura Kumara Dissanayake MP – “When that attacker went to the hotel in Dehiwala an officer of the Military Intelligence – I do not want to mention the name of that officer at this moment – he went there within three or four hours of these attacks – urgently – to the home of the attacker. He goes to the home of that attacker and questions his wife.

She tells him that he had gone somewhere. A little while later she receives a call from the security officer of the mosque. The Military Intelligence officer then speaks to the security officer. How could this happen? That is a time when after the other attacks – there was a big turmoil in the country. It was a moment when the CID itself could not make head or tail of these attacks. How come that this official goes to the home of one attacker that quick?” [The Hansard, 26th March 2021, Volume 282, Chapter 6,  p. 802-803].

In the city of Colombo, in Negombo and in Batticoloa bombs were exploded between 8.45 – 9.03 a.m. The DMI Officers have told the Presidential COI that they reached Jameel’s house soon after the explosions in Colombo and suburbs. [Confer Final Report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Vol. 1, p. 195].

Who is the person who went to Jameel’s house so quickly?

Wasn’t it possible for Amir, as per request made by the officer of the DMI to chase after Jameel and keep him with himself?

What did the DMI officials do between 30 p.m. and 5.00 p.m.?

Was any attempt made to find Jameel during this long period?

Why were no further investigations carried out on this?

5.Who is the DMI Official who headed this service and who arrested the Director of the CID, Mr. Shani Abeysekera?

Facts that emerged in the Parliamentary debate:

Harin Fernando MP: “It is Mr. Shani Abeysekera, the officer who was in charge of the CID then, who located the man responsible for the Easter attacks through his IP address and arrested him. Going through that IP address and searching for who engaged in this conversation it becomes clear that he is an official of the Intelligence Services. This fact has not emerged anywhere even in the investigations of the Commission. I State this basing myself on the source. I speak about what the lawyers who were present at the Commission sittings knew and a fact that was revealed at the same sittings but which does not appear in the report: It is from evidence given there. That evidence did not become public. That evidence, Mr. Deputy Speaker, states that when that Intelligence officer was arrested and brought to make a statement, the Military Intelligence came on the scene stating that “this is our project” and they took him away. This is evidence given before the Commission but it has not come into the report. I state this with a sense of responsibility, Hon. Deputy Speaker. And so I ask you to request that all evidence given before the Commission be made known to the public.” [The Hansard, 20th April 2021, Vol. 282, Chapter 12, p. 1663].

Manusha Nanayakkara MP: “It is said that when that excellent officer, Shani Abeysekera, had arrested and brought to the CID the person whom he located through his IP address, the Army Intelligence section had intervened stating: “this is our operation” and taken him away. What he [Mr. Harin Fernando MP] had spoken concerns the issue regarding information collected from the investigations done on this man and his link with Saharan and his group. He had wanted to know whether that information too is found in the final report of the Easter Attack Investigation Commission.” [The Hansard, Vol. 282, Chapter 12, p. 1678].

How come that if evidence emerged in the sittings of the Commission about the officer who arrested the then Director of the CID Mr. Shani Abeysekera and who was not allowed to continue his evidence on this issue but was taken away by the Military Intelligence, that such a fact did not enter into the final report of the Easter probe Commission?
Is that written in the 22 volumes that were consigned to the Attorney General only?

What were the investigations done by the DMI on this key witness and his role?
Was there a proper investigation done on this matter?

6.   Who is the person who was designated by the code name: Sonic – Sonic?

Facts that emerged in the Parliamentary debate:

– Hon. Anura Kumara Dissanayake MP: “The ISIS did not accept responsibility for these attacks for quite some time after the massacres. They waited a long time without acknowledging this fact. But then a person called Saharan – a different person who is now in custody speaks to a spokesperson of the ISIS in Indonesia and appeals to him to accept this attack as a project of the ISIS. Then a foreign secret service provides an IMEI number, an ID number and with that this Saharan

– this Saharan No. 2, another Saharan states: “why are you still not accepting responsibility for this? Accept this.” He shouts at that spokesperson and questions him. Then that person who is from Malaysia responds: “We cannot accept that responsibility because you have not taken the “bayath Oath”. After that a video showing the oath taken by the terror outfit is publicized and it is only after that, that the ISIS officially accepts responsibility for this. I wish to know whose telephone it is that gave this call. It could be located through that IP address. Hon. Deputy Speaker, the CID has told the presidential Commission of Inquiry to whom this telephone belonged when others were not present, except in the case of the lawyers. And so we wish to know as to whom that person – Saharan 2 – had really spoken. That fact should be presented to Parliament.” [The Hansard, 26th March 2021, Volume 282, Chapter 6, p. 803].

– Hon. Harin Fernando MP – “Hon. Deputy Speaker, even you knew about the presence of yet another Saharan from Matale. He is being called “Little Saharan”. There is someone with a code name called Sonic-Sonic who spoke to this Little Saharan. This evidence was given not by me – it is C. I. Seneratne who gave this information to the Commission as a witness. He was the OIC attached to the Digital Forensic Laboratory ….. The other person who gave evidence on this is

C. I. Keerthisinghe is the one who arrested Saharan of Matale. Who is this Saharan of Matale? This Saharan of Matale is now in custody. Still Nauffer Moulavi is also in custody. He is the one who was named the big brain behind these attacks. But neither of them was called to give evidence before the Commission.” [The Hansard, 20th April 2021, Volume 282, Chapter 12, p. 1664].

– Hon. Manusha Nanayakkara MP – “This Saharan of Matale is one who came from Qatar. The person called “Sonic-Sonic” by code name belonging to the Intelligence Service goes to see this Saharan from Matale. He asks Saharan “why hasn’t Al-Bagdadi not accepted responsibility for these attacks?” He answers: “Still the oath has not been publicized.” Then there is a call to Indonesia.   It is after this call to Indonesia that the message is given [interruptions]. After that he tells Al- Bagdadi – “yes, we will now upload it.” [interruptions]. Then he uploads it, this person called Sonic-Sonic [interruptions] and he uploads it to Al-Bagdadi. It is after that uploading, that Al-Bagdadi accepts responsibility for the attacks.” [The Hansard, 20th April 2021, Volume 282, Chapter 12, p. 1678- 1679].

Who is the person from the Intelligence Service called by code name “Sonic-Sonic” and whose telephone was that he used with the IP address?

With whom did Saharan 2 speak over the telephone?

If this was told at the Commission why is it not mentioned in the Commission report?

Does that name appear in the 22 volumes that were handed over only to the Attorney General?

If so why is his name not being revealed?
Why did the Easter Probe Commission not seek evidence from Saharan of Matale or from Nauffer Maulavi?

E.  Over and above these matters comes what the former Hon. Attorney General Dappula De Livera stated to News First journalist Sulfick Farzan on 17th May 2021:

The former Attorney General told a journalist of a well-known media network, at a press briefing he gave, that there was a “grand conspiracy” behind the Easter attack. We believe that what he says is based on evidence found in the volumes not given to Parliament or to us but to the Attorney General only, of facts that were mentioned in those special secret volumes. This statement may also have been based on what was told to him additionally by the CID and by the Intelligence Officers on the basis of what they too discovered on their own.   Thus it is   to be considered a very serious statement. It must be investigated thoroughly. What is the nature of this conspiracy and its motives? And who are the people connected to this? We wish to receive answers to these questions.

F.  Some facts in the complaint made by a group of lawyers to the Director of the CID on 5th May 2021.

It is our belief that the points raised on the Easter Sunday attacks by a group of lawyers comprising lawyers Senaka Perera, Achala Seneviratne, Manju Sri Chandrasena, Upali Ratnayake, Thambiah Jeyaratne Raja, Namal Rajapaksa and Aruni Dhanapala Arachchi in a complaint made to the Director of the CID on 5th May 2021, are of great usefulness in the investigations into the said attacks. These points have not been considered up to now with due seriousness. And so it is our belief that these points need to be investigated.

Our Appeal:

Hon. Sarath Weerasekera the Minister of Public Security has stated that in the month of July cases will be filed against 42 suspects involved in the Easter Sunday attacks. We do not know if among these 42 suspects will feature the main culprits who planned these attacks and those politicians and security services personnel who even if they knew about these attacks earlier, did not do anything to prevent them. Or if this is an attempt to file action only against some marginally involved figures and to finish the whole process of investigation and legal action only with that.    If that happens the big brains behind the Easter attacks and those who helped them by neglecting their duties and avoided taking suitable action to prevent these would be freed of their culpability and the whole question of justice would be forever swept under the carpet. If that happens it would not only be tantamount to a serious crime of the denial of justice to the 269 innocents who were assassinated in these murderous attacks, to all those relatives of the victims who have been aggrieved by their deaths and to those thousands who have been rendered destitute by reason of their injuries but it would also constitute a grave threat to national security.

Hence, it is our firm belief that the legal proceedings concerning these Easter terror attacks should end only with the prosecution of all those who were directly involved and all those who assisted them at their behest, all those big-brains that planned these attacks and those who led these attacks, and all those political leaders, State Officials, Police and Intelligence Service Officials who, inspite of being able to prevent these massacres, neglected to do so.

Similarly we believe that it should end only by conducting a serious investigation on this which would answer the following key questions:

Was there a conspiracy behind these attacks?
What were the aims of these attacks?
Who were those connected to these attacks?

The results of these investigations should then be made known to the public.

We hope that your Government would take stock of the present lethargic and slow moving approach to investigations which seems to reveal a conspiracy to protect certain individuals and to prevent the truth from emerging and to take quick action to unravel all the causes of this massacre, thus ensuring justice to those affected as soon as possible. Only that will prove to us that you stand for truth and justice and the protection of the rule of law and not for political gain. We urge Your Excellency to listen to our appeal and to investigate soon all these above mentioned factors and reveal to the nation their verity.

And finally we wish to inform Your Excellency, that if truth and justice cannot be assured in a satisfactory manner in this matter by the Government and this issue is dealt with rather superficially, we will be forced to agitate for such through alternative means.

We hope you will act on this urgently and provide us with a credible answer at least within one month of this appeal. Thank you.

On behalf of the victims of this massacre.

( This is a document converted form a PDF. To read the original PDF document please go here:Catholic church Letter to President – English

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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