‘All Easter attack culprits will be punished’ | Daily News

‘All Easter attack culprits will be punished’

It has been almost two years since the Easter Sunday attacks which was carried out on April 21, 2019 resulting in the deaths of almost 300 and injuries to over 500 and the Government is carrying out extensive investigations regarding this incident. “As the Presidential Commission investigating the Easter attacks had unravelled many a vital evidence which was not found during the investigations by the parliamentary committee appointed during the previous Government, we cannot be satisfied with the investigations carried out by the parliamentary committee appointed by the previous regime to investigate the Easter attacks,” said Public Security Minister Rear Admiral (Rtd) Dr. Sarath Weerasekara.

He said this in Parliament yesterday, in response to a question raised by MP Nalin Fernando. MP Fernando questioned the Government if they were satisfied with the investigations carried out so far with regard to the Easter attacks during the past one year and eight months. He also asked what action the current Government would be taking pertaining to those found to have been connected with the Easter Sunday bombings.

“As the investigations of the Presidential Commission appointed to investigate the Easter attacks is scheduled to conclude by January 31, further details regarding the investigation could be obtained. The Colombo Crime Division, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) are carrying out the investigations into the attacks targeting eight locations. Under several laws the AG has been sent the files of 32 suspects and no sooner the investigations of the Presidential Commission is concluded, charges would be filed against them based on evidence gathered. In addition, investigations are also being carried out under the Money Laundering Act with regard to the assets of the bombers and their family members. We expect to take legal action against all those directly and indirectly connected with the Easter bombings no sooner the Presidential Commission concludes their investigations and based on evidence gathered by the Police,” he said.

He further added that 243 suspects are in remand custody for their connection in aiding and abating the Easter bombings, supporting in conducting training camps and conducting Madrasa schools that promotes extremist ideologies and investigations are being carried out regarding these persons as well.

Minister Weerasekara also noted that during the previous regime the intelligence units were sidelined and brought to a state of dysfunction, which paved the way for the Easter Sunday attacks. However, he assured that the current government had prioritised the strengthening of the intelligence services and with that ensured that such attacks would not be allowed to take place again.

In response to MP Fernando’s question on what action the government is taking with regard to the allegations against the country at the Geneva Human Rights Council, Minister Weerasekara said that the previous government had co-sponsored the resolution where Sri Lanka was levelled eight allegations which were all untrue and baseless. “No government has ever admitted to committing human rights violations but the Good Governance regime went a step further and co-sponsored the resolution against the country. However, we will present evidence at the next Human Rights Council in March and defend our country by proving that these allegations are untrue and baseless,” he added.