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Though notified 97 times about Zaharan and crowd ... no action was taken -- it is revealed


Though notified 97 times about Zaharan and crowd ... no action was taken -- it is revealed

President's counsel yesterday (3) mentioned in the presence of supreme court that an attack could be launched from somewhere between the year 2017 and April 2019 on 97 occasions by national intelligence unit to the inspector general of police and secretary of defence explaining about activities of Zaharan's Thawheed Jamath the Muslim extremist organisation, no attention was paid to it. 

"Intelligence unit chief, Nimal Jayawardena has mentioned in writing very clearly in a message sent
on April 4th, 2019 that the suicide corps of the Muslim extreme group was getting ready to launch an attack. If proper necessary action was executed, the immense destruction to life and property could have been averted, president's counsel Jayawardena mentioned. He brought these points out before supreme court regarding a fundamental rights petition filed by Sri Lanka Lawyers' Association against government and security for not taking precautions to prevent the suicide bomb attack which happened on April 21st, 2019. 

Investigations into the petition is conducted in the presence of chief justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Sisira de Abrew, Buvaneka Aluvihare, Prasanna Jayawardena and Mardu Fernando the seven-bench judges. Sri Lanka Lawyers' Association has named former inspector general of police Messrs. Pujith Jayasundera, former secretary of defence Hemasiri Fernando and deputy inspector general of police Priyalal Dissanayaka and prime minister Ranil Wickremasingha, deputy minister of defence Ruwan Wijeywardena on behalf of president Maithripala Sirisena as respondents for the petition. 

President's counsel had this to say too: "Former inspector general of police Pujitha Jayasundera and former secretary of defence Hemasiri Fernando have not carried out duties assigned to them officially. Even from the year 2016, activities of Zaharan's extremist group were exposed to surveys conducted by intelligence units. Evidence that information pertaining to this was notified to those officers from time to time was forwarded across affidavits to supreme court. Therefore, both of them was mainly responsible for failing to effecting security action in that connection. 

When the first suicide bomb attack was launched at about 8 in the morning on April 21st, 2019 no prompt security measures were taken. Fortunately no further attacks took place. Other than curfew was enforced, no other steps were taken. Though information about this terrorist organisation was forthcoming, no body was taken into custody as such. Even those who were arrested with weapons and explosives in their position, they were released with court action. 

Attorney at law, Mr. Nuwan Bopage who appeared on behalf of the petition filed by the wife of a person who died from the bomb attack launched at St. Anthony's Church in Kochchikade, Kotahena then spoke. "The government and civil servants are responsible to protect the right of the public to live. Deprivation of the right to live is an act of violating fundamental rights. The president is the chief of the executive. He is also the chief of the tri-forces. It is the president who should take steps to provide proper protection for the public. Catholic people attended Kochchikade church that day to attend religious worship with the belief of protection afforded by the state. 

India's supreme court decided to compensate in a big measure to lives lost with a large building in India being flattened by a terrorist bomb attack. What India's supreme court adjudged was that the state is entirely responsible for disasters resulting from terrorist bombs. It is mentioned in the verdict that the state should have taken measures to prevent that attack. 

The security unit has committed another blunder which is the violation of the testimony quoted in the constitution that the bomb attack to be launched is announced to a selected number of people which security is provided to all and sundry. The president should hold himself responsible primarily for the lives of the people of the country. 

It was president's counsel Mr. Manoharan Silva who next presented the facts. He appeared on behalf of attorney at law Tikiri Rajanayaka who sustained serious injuries in the terrorist attack launched on Kochchikade church. "The state should hold itself responsible for the massive loss of lives and property which resulted from the bomb attack which took place on April 21st, 2019. A court inquiry should be carried out about it. At first glance it is seen that a court case has is in the offing against the state and public servants. Therefore a thorough inquiry should be conducted and a judgement be pronounced. The president and prime minister cannot get away from their responsibilities by saying 'Did not know that a plan was underway to launch a suicide bomb attack ... nobody told me about it'. The cabinet means the state. If the president apprised the cabinet, the intelligence unit, the former inspector general of police and the secretary of defence and provided necessary information, how can government say that nothing was known? It is not taking proper security measures while being aware of what transpired. Minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardena is a shareholder of the government. He too has been notified. What everybody has done was casting aside the duty of affording protection for the public. The entire cabinet should collectively hold themselves for the destruction that took place. 

- Sarath Dharmasena -  


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