A top government minister revealed shocking details of alleged Sri Lanka military involvement with suspected pro ISIS militants who massacred hundreds in a series of deadly bombings.
Quoting from a confidential intelligence report, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that both Islamist and Buddhist extremist groups were initially bankrolled by the former government led by Mahinda Rajapaksa.
His brother, the top defence official at the time, Gotabaya Rajapaksa directed the operation.
“Thowheed Jamath Secretary Abdul Razik Rafiqudeen was an army intelligence member,” Minister Senaratne told journalists in Colombo.
“A closest ally of ex Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, now a retired major general had coordinated these Muslim and Sinhala extremists. He was also head of the special security operations committee that functioned under Gotabaya’s instructions.”
JDS can reveal that the retired major general referred to is NAR Soyza.
The officer coordinated a failed coup to retain power in the hands of the ousted President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said Dr Senaratne.
Months before the group identified as National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) targeted churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday, military intelligence officers provided them with assistance to kill two policemen, alleged minister Rajitha Senaratna.
The killings were co-ordinated by four military intelligence officers associated with Gotabaya Rajapaksa, he added.’It was their initial test run.’
However, former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has denied the accusations.
Last November, bodies of two police constables manning a checkpoint in the eastern town of Vavunativu were found with gunshot and slash wounds.
On Sunday, Police Spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekara told journalists that the service revolvers of the slain policemen were recovered from a raid in a suspected NTJ safe-house in Ninthavur, Batticaloa in the east and Wanathavilluwa in the north western province.
However, an ex Tamil Tiger Kadiragamathambi Rajakumaran of Kannakuda, Batticaloa and George Niranjan of Nuwaraeliya, who were arrested under suspicion are yet to be released.
President Maithripala Sirisena has anounced on May Day that he received the preliminary report from the three-member commission led by a retired judge to probe the Easter Massacre and its background.
Six foreign police agencies and Interpol, including Scotland Yard from the UK and the FBI from the US are in the country to assist in the investigation into the Easter Sunday bombings.
Minister Senaratna told journalists that more details of the alleged Sri Lanka military – NTJ link will come to light in the next few weeks.☐