Pujith did not get due recognition from Maithri - Former Army Commander | Daily News
PCoI probing Easter Sunday terror attacks:

Pujith did not get due recognition from Maithri - Former Army Commander

Former Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara did not get due recognition from former President Maithripala Sirisena at the National Security Council (NSC) meetings, former Army Commander General (Rtd) Mahesh Senanayake said.

He made this statement testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the Easter Sunday attacks on October 7 via Skype technology.

The State Counsel questioned witnesses as to what kind of official relationship did you observe between former President Maithripala Sirisena and former IGP Pujith Jayasundara? In reply, he stated by the middle of 2018 that he noticed a rift between the two of them. At that time a rumour was spread that the life of the former President was under threat.

Former Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake futher said at the same time, people we had never heard of came out and started putting on shows through the media. “I use the word show for those kinds of things. It was with the arrival of Namal Kumara that a rift was observed between former President Maithripala Sirisena and IGP Pujith Jayasundara,” he added.

Chairman of the Commission questioned the witness as to whether he was aware of the person or institution behind Namal Kumara. Senanayake stated that Terrorism Investigation Division was the institution behind Namal Kumara.

Meanwhile, the State Counsel then asked how he first came to know about the series of terrorist attacks that took place on April 21 last year. Responding to this, the former Army Commander said that he immediately came to know of the explosion at the Shangri-La Hotel, which is located on the border with the Army Headquarters, and later became aware of the explosion at the Kingsbury Hotel.

“A shortwhile after the blasts, he had confirmed that the attacks were carried out by an extremist group including Zaharan based on the information available with the Intelligence Unit. Intelligence officers were allowed to make arrests even though the emergency law had not been enforced”, former Army Commander Mahesh Senanayke added.

He further said that he had heard that a special meeting would be convened under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister after the blast, then President Maithripala Sirisena had allegedly informed him through Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando not to attend the meeting.