regular-article-logo Tuesday, 05 December 2023

2019 Easter attacks: Sri Lanka to appoint probe panel to investigate British channel's allegations

United Kingdom’s Channel 4 television station on September 5 aired a documentary titled ‘Sri Lanka’s Easter Bombings – Dispatches’ alleging the involvement and complicity of certain government officials

PTI Colombo Published 10.09.23, 04:41 PM
Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe File picture

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday announced that he will appoint a probe panel to investigate the allegations made by a British channel on the 2019 Easter suicide attacks that killed 270 people, including 11 Indians.

UK’s Channel 4 television station on Tuesday aired a documentary titled ‘Sri Lanka’s Easter Bombings – Dispatches’ alleging the involvement and complicity of certain government officials, including intelligence service chief Major General Suresh Sallay, in orchestrating the 2019 Easter suicide bombings.


It called the attacks a “crafted act” aimed at forcing a political change in favour of the Rajapaksa brothers.

On Sunday, an official statement said a committee chaired by a retired Supreme Court judge would be appointed to inquire into the allegations that accused the country's intelligence chief of plotting the 2019 Easter bombings.

Wickremesinghe also pledged to appoint a parliamentary select committee to investigate allegations levelled by a former Attorney General that the whole attack was a conspiracy and there is a mastermind behind the attacks.

The two reports would then be presented in parliament for final action.

Sri Lanka's Defence Ministry on Saturday defended the country's intelligence chief, saying it “vehemently denounces the accusation of orchestrating the attack and assisting the bombers against a dedicated senior military officer who has served the nation for 36 years.” The move came two days after ousted former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s denial of Major General Sallay's involvement in the bombings and that he had benefited from the attacks to win the presidential election in November 2019.

Nine suicide bombers belonging to the local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaat (NTJ) linked to ISIS carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three Catholic churches and as many luxury hotels on April 21, 2019, killing nearly 270 people, including 11 Indians, and injuring over 500.

The attacks led to a significant political change in Sri Lanka. It emerged that the then authorities had ignored prior intelligence on the attack by Indian intelligence agencies.

Then President Maithripala Sirisena and the entire top police brass were ordered to pay compensation by court during a hearing of fundamental rights petitions filed by the victims’ relatives.

The head of the Catholic minority Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has alleged that all investigations thus far have been political cover-ups.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

Follow us on: