‘National Security Council was not up to standard’ | Daily News
Former Secretary of State for Law and Order Ministry Jayamanne tells PCoI:

‘National Security Council was not up to standard’

Former Secretary of State for Law and Order Ministry Padmasiri Jayamanne said although he was of the opinion that the National Security Council was an important decision-maker at a high level, the meetings of the previous Security Council were not in such a state.

Testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the Easter Sunday attacks on October 8, he said even the reports submitted to the National Security Council by the State Intelligence Service were not up to standard.

“I observed that the intelligence reports which I received were not up to standard and I realized that I could not take necessary steps according to those intelligence reports. At one point, it was reported that Zahran Hashim was hiding in his wife’s house in Kekunagolla when a warrant had been issued against him. Those are normal incidents which should be reported to take necessary action,” he said.

Jayamanne stated that he had participated in National Security Council meetings for 10 months during which the Security Council had realized that Zahran was propagating the Islamic State (IS) ideology and creating Islamic extremists in the country.

When asked whether anyone in the Security Council proposed to ban IS in this country in order to solve this problem, Former Secretary pointed out that no such thing was discussed. In the case of Islamic extremism, such discussions in the Security Council were largely limited because the previous government was on the side of the minority parties.

Even the officials were not prepared to take any risk.

Despite all these minority political influences, the political authorities should have taken all possible steps within the remaining 16 days after receiving foreign intelligence information on April 4, 2019.

The commissioners inquired the witness what kind of internal conflicts they had at the Police Department. Responding to it, Jayamanne stated that at that time IGP Pujith Jayasundara went on a rampage in various media. Even the Minister told the IGP not to make such statements. “We did not decide to remove him, but we summoned the IGP and warned him.”