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‘Previous government responsible for one after another blast in Sri Lanka on Easter in 2019’, said President Rajapaksa

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has blamed the previous government for the serial blasts in the country on the occasion of Easter in the year 2019. About 270 people, including 11 Indians, were killed in these blasts. In fact, nine suicide bombers of the National Thowheed Jamaat, a local extremist group affiliated with the Islamic State, carried out a coordinated attack on Easter Sunday in the year 2019 and targeted three churches and several hotels.

In this attack, about 500 people were injured with the death of 270 people. President Rajapaksa said those who were pressuring him to act swiftly on those responsible for the bombings should be cautious while making such demands. He warned that his government would also take “stern action” against critics if needed. Addressing a public meeting on Wednesday, Rajapaksa said, ‘If they want quick action, then we can move Parliament to take back the civil rights of those responsible for it.’

‘Previous government ruined national security’

The President said that the judicial process is going on and his government will not interfere in it. Rajapaksa accused the previous government of neglecting national security, saying they had destroyed the intelligence system established before 2015. “They (the previous government) ruined national security,” Rajapaksa said. The commission has clearly stated in its report that the former president, prime minister and cabinet are responsible for the attack. He said this citing the report of the Presidential Inquiry Commission set up by former President Maithripala Sirisena.

The panel said in its report that Sirisena and several other top defense officials, including former defense secretaries, former IGPs and intelligence chiefs, are guilty of ignoring prior intelligence. The panel’s report recommended criminal action against him. The panel recommended that the findings against Sirisena and the then top police officers be sent to the Attorney General for necessary legal action. Sirisena has publicly denied receiving any prior information about the attacks.

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