Sri Lanka intelligence chief fired after criticism over bombings

Sri Lanka intelligence chief fired after criticism over bombings

Sri Lanka President disapproves PSC probing Easter Sunday attacks opening sessions to media Fri, Jun 7, 2019, 11:09 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka's intelligence chief has left his post after an emergency meeting on Friday.

Evidence before the parliamentary select committee, which began its publicly televised sittings since late last month, has placed the president in a poor light, suggesting that he failed to act on advance warning of the attacks.

Maithripala Sirisena summoned an emergency meeting of his Cabinet yesterday night to oppose the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the April 21 attacks that killed 258 people and wounded almost 500.

Sirisena's office did not give a reason for abruptly sacking Mendis.

The source added that the heated cabinet meeting ended "inconclusively" without taking a decision on whether to suspend the parliament probe.

The President also said that he has been informed by the Attorney General that the PSC proceedings will hamper ongoing cases filed on the Easter Sunday attacks.

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Sirisena told his police top brass on Friday that he would not allow any police, military or intelligence personnel to testify.

Jayasundara also said that Sirisena had asked him not to attend the National Security Council meetings since last October, when Sirisena fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in a power struggle that triggered a seven-week political crisis.

But President Sirisena is refusing to cooperate with the inquiry. Sirisena has denied he was aware of an impending threat.

The ISIS claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) for the bombings.

Modi arrived in Colombo for a brief stopover on his return from an official visit to the Maldives on Saturday.

The attack has severely affected tourism in Sri Lanka which used to be one of the major foreign exchange earners for the island country.

Among the officials questioned so far are the Defence Secretary, intelligence chief, Police chief and former Defence Secretary.

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