Prior warning of attack: PM to order a probe

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, last night, addressing the media, at Temple Trees, said that all measures would be taken to wipe out terrorism and ensure that incidents like what took place on Easter Sunday would not occur again.

Wickremesinghe said investigations would be launched to ascertain why a prior warning about the attack had been ignored.

The Prime Minister said that the international community had assured all support to combat terrorism and among those were Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Nepalese Prime Minister.

He said that eight suspects had been arrested in connection with the incident and, all of them, were locals. Investigations would continue, he said.

Wickremesinghe thanked the security forces and the police personnel who had immediately responded to the disaster.

“The security forces and the police have identified the safe houses from where the attackers had operated,” the Prime Minister said, adding that he had ordered that compensation be paid to the families of the deceased. Three police officers had also been killed in the line of duty, he added.

The PM said that he had visited the two churches at Katuwapitiya and Kochchikade among those damaged by the bomb blasts. He said those places of worship would be repaired.

Wickremesinghe said that he had held discussions with Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and expressed his condolences.

The Prime Minister urged the public to remain calm and vigilant and cooperate with the security forces and the police.

Wickremesinghe lamented that the death toll due to the carnage was over 200, including foreigners and about 450 persons had been injured.

(Source: The Island – By Harischandra Gunaratna and Madura Ranwala)