Former President Maithripala Sirisena was ordered by the Presidential Commission to Inquiry (PCoI) probing the Easter Sunday attacks to produce his medical reports when he visited Singapore for treatment during the time of the Easter Sunday terror attacks,last Friday (23).
It was revealed before the Commission that the former President who was receiving treatment at a Singapore hospital had made a telephone call to the then Director of the State Intelligence Service (SIS), Nilantha Jayawardena, 46 minutes prior to the before Easter Sunday terror attacks on April 21, 2019.
The former President said he had contacted Nilantha Jayawardena after the attack, adding that there was a two-and-a-half hour difference between Sri Lankan time and Singapore time.
“I was in hospital, I can produce the medical reports if needed. I was brought to the hotel from the hospital. While I was on the severity of the incident, I gave advice over the phone” he added.
Shamil Perera PC asked former President Maithripala Sirisena that when the first attack on Easter Sunday took place at 8.45 am and 23 minutes prior to the second attack at 8.58 am, whether SIS former Director Jayawardena had made a telephone call and you had made another 184 second call to Jayawardena at 9.13 am.
Responding to the query Sirisena said when the incident was reported to him,he answered the calls and gave the necessary advice, even though he was ill.
The President’s Counsel again told former President Sirisena that according to the telephone records, there are 221 telephone calls between Jayawardena and your house on Paget Road from January 1 to April 31, 2019 and of them, 82 telephone conversations were recorded between you and Jayawardena in the month of April. “According to reports, I do not remember receiving so many calls. I don’t know if Nilantha made calls to my official residence. But I did not have time to answer so many calls,” Sirisena responded.
Sirisena also told the Commission that Jayawardena had not informed him of the incident over the phone prior to the attacks.
Testifying further, the former President said that terrorist attacks were due to a breach of joint responsibilities across several sectors. The information had been spread that there was a possibility of an attack and that a large number of people were aware of the attack and the necessary action could have been taken, he added. “Zaharan was initially known as an extremist. Zaharan should have been arrested, at the end of 2018 or in early 2019 by the Security Council. I ask why Zaharan was not arrested.” In 2017, an arrest warrant was issued on Zaharan. The Police should have arrested him, I had issued orders on several occasions for his arrest,” he said.
Former President Maithripala Sirisena was ordered to appear before the Commission again on October 29 for further testimony.
(Source: Daily News – By Subhashini Senanayake and Dilshan Tharaka)