Oct 31, 2020, 00:35:16

Former President told to halt all investigations

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Former President told to halt all investigations into the Muslim Extremists.

Testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the Easter Sunday Attacks Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundera yesterday (23) said the former President Maithripala Sirisena had stated at the Security Council that all open investigations into Muslim extremists by the police should be stopped and that investigations would be carried out under the then Chief of State Intelligence Nilantha Jayawardena.

Although the Independent Police Commission was enacted by the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, the former President Maithripala Sirisena was politically involved in the transfer of police officers and certain official duties, the suspended IGP said.

Jayasundera testified that he did not go against the orders of the former President and that when he informed Sirisena about Muslim extremism, the then President had instructed him to "be very careful as this is a very sensitive matter".

The former IGP further told the Commission that the then President Maithripala Sirisena had instructed him to be careful as there were Muslim MPs and ministers in the government at that time and it could pressure the government and had added that only extremist speeches had taken place in the country.

Jayasundera also said that in late 2017 and early 2018, there was no close relationship between him and the President.

The former IGP further said that he was having difficulty in making decisions regarding security matters due to the rift between then President Maithripala Sirisena and then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The Commission questioned whether he had sought the advice of the Prime Minister, disregarding the instructions given by the President.

In response, IGP Pujith Jayasundara said he had not done so and had given priority to the instructions given by the President.

Jayasundera said that the then President had decided not to invite him to the Security Council meeting on October 23, 2018 and that he had not been summoned to the Security Council until the Easter attack.

Due to this, he was unable to obtain any information regarding national security and he was severely inconvenienced by that, said Pujith Jayasundara.

The IGP also noted that he was pressured by then President regarding the transfer of CID Inspector Nishantha de Silva.

Further testifying, Pujith Jayasundera stated that former ministers Sajith Premadasa and Mahinda Amaraweera had pressured the then President about the transfer of Inspector Nishantha Silva and the former President asked him to cancel the transfer immediately.

Jayasundera told the Commission that he informed the former president that CID Inspector Nishantha de Silva’s transfer was not possible since he was conducting investigations with regard to former Chief of Defense Staff Ravi Wijegunaratne, military officers and police officers and there were no accusations against him.

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