‘Former DMI Head was removed to prevent his arrest’ | Daily News
Maithri tells PCoI probing Easter Sunday terror attacks

‘Former DMI Head was removed to prevent his arrest’

The reason behind the removal of former Head of the Directorate of the Military Intelligence (DMI) Brigadier Suresh Sallay from his position was to prevent him being arrested on fabricated charges, former President Maithripala Sirisena told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the Easter Sunday terror attacks yesterday.

According to him, there had been a coup to arrest Sallay, but after discussions with the Army Commander, he had taken steps to release Sallay from the position and send him as the Defence Attaché to Malaysia preventing him being arrested unnecessarily. Sirisena said former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and one of the then powerful ministers opposed Sally presenting findings on Islamic Extremism at the National Security Council (NSC) claiming such information would cause to create a tense situation within the Muslim community.

“The former Prime Minister and that particular Minister proposed to remove Brigadier Sallay from this position too,” former President Sirisena said. The former President further said Sally’s appointment as the Defence Attaché was approved by him stating that he had security threats from the LTTE as a military officer.

Meanwhile, Sirisena said Wickremesinghe had instructed the ministers of his Government not to follow the instructions given by him as the President. When asked as to how he came to know that the former Prime Minister had given such advice, the witness said it was clearly shown on several occasions. The Prime Minister had instructed the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank not to act on the recommendations made by the National Economic Council, which was functioning under me, he said. “Despite dealing with Wickremesinghe was similar to working with a political devil, somehow I managed to work with him and work for the betterment of the country,” the former President said. Sirisena also said the problems between him and Wickremesinghe began within a week of him being elected in January 2015. That was regarding the appointment of Arjun Mahendran as the Governor of the Central Bank. Despite my refusal as Mahendran was a Singapore citizen, Wickremesinghe insisted that Mahendran was the best option. “Wickremesinghe had a serious grudge against me after the appointment of a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Central Bank Bond Scam,” the former President further added.