Sri Lanka state intelligence under spotlight after deadly Easter Sunday blasts

Following a series of powerful bomb blasts that killed hundreds, it has emerged that the Sri Lankan government had been kept in the dark about the deadly attacks.

The prime minister made the controversial revelation that “the information was available”, when he met local journalists on Sunday (21) in Colombo.

"We must look into why adequate precautions were not taken. Neither I nor the Ministers were kept informed," PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

"For now the priority is to apprehend the attackers," he added.

Security Council blamed

Meanwhile, speaking to media from the Prime Minister's residence on Monday (22), Minister Rajitha Senaratne blamed the National Security Council led by President Maithripala Sirisena for keeping PM Ranil Wickremasinghe and his cabinet in the dark. 

"Prime Minister summoned the Security Council on Sunday, since President was overseas. But Security Council refused to come" he said.

"During yesterday's Cabinet meeting,we all wanted to meet the Security Council. They were summoned but they never came. President Sirisena arrived last night and informed Prime Minister Wickramasinghe to attend Security Council meeting for first time since December", he added.

Suicide bombs

Eight bomb attacks targeting Christian churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday claimed the lives of over 290 and injured more than 500. At least 35 of the dead are foreign nationals.

The government says that suicide bombs were used at some of the sites.

It remains unclear who was behind the attacks, but by police arrested at least 13 men, women and children on Sunday.

State intelligence units come under president Maithripala Sirisena who is in an estranged coalition with the United National Party (UNP) led by PM Wickremesinghe.


President Sirisena away in a pilgrimage to India condemned the attacks as a 'conspiracy', in a recorded message to the media.

His office announced that a three member special investigation committee led by a Judge of the Supreme Court will be appointed to investigate causes and background to the attacks.

The committee comprises Supreme court judge Vijith Malalgoda, former Inspector General of Police N K Ilangakoon and former Law and Order ministry secretary Padmasiri Jayamanne.

“The Committee will study other reasons that pave the way for these incidents as well. It will submit its report within two weeks to the President,” said Udaya R Seneviratne, Secretary to the President.

The government has announced that it will bear the cost of funerals and rebuilding. 

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attacks.☐



Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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