Committee probing Easter attacks submits final report to Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has refused to allow any police military or intelligence personnel to testify say officials. — Reuters  File

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has refused to allow any police military or intelligence personnel to testify say officials. — Reuters File

The St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, which was damaged in the Easter attacks.

A three-member committee appointed to probe the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka that killed 258 people, including 11 Indians, submitted its final report to President Maithripala Sirisena today.

In his May 29 testimony to parliament, intelligence boss Sisira Mendis said security council meetings were irregular, making it hard to properly protect the island nation.

A ministerial source told AFP Mr Sirisena has refused to allow any police, military or intelligence personnel to testify before the committee.

The President said the Attorney General (AG) had in writing informed him that five cases regarding the April 21 attacks are being heard in the Supreme Court and appointment of a select committee and proceeding with a probe on the attacks is detrimental to the ongoing cases.

The president called an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday night to oppose the legislature's investigation into the April 21 attacks that killed 258 people, including 45 foreigners, and wounded almost 500.

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On Saturday, Sirisena's office said he sacked his national intelligence chief El-Sisira Mendis who testified that the devastating attacks against three churches and three luxury hotels could have been avoided.

Sirisena's office did not give a reason for the sacking.

Sri Lanka Supreme Court Justice Vijith Malalgoda, who headed the committee, handed over the report to President Sirisena. Mr. Sirisena called an emergency Cabinet meeting on Friday to oppose the legislature's investigation into the attacks.

The ISIS claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) for the bombings.

The crisis in Sri Lanka erupted ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the country on Sunday (June 9). The country has been under a state of emergency since the bombings.

Sirisena suspended police chief Pujith Jayasundara and dismissed his top defence official Hemasiri Fernando after the bombings.

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