by Saman Indrajith
IGP Pujith Jayasundara, yesterday, told the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the Easter Sunday carnage that he had been excluded from the National Security Council since Oct 23, 2018 by President Maithripala Sirisena over a misunderstanding as regards a police inspector’s transfer.
Giving evidence before the PSC, Jayasundera said that he had been informed by then Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Kapila Waidyaratne that he didn’t have to attend the NSC meetings.
Asked on what grounds he had been excluded by the Secretary Defence, the IGP responded that the President did not want his presence at the NSC meetings.
He said that the State Intelligence Service functioned under the Ministry of Defence.
“So, the Director SIS reports directly to the Secretary Defence and the Minister of Defence and not to the IGP,” he said.Asked to name the Inspector over whose transfer the President had excluded him from the NSC meetings, the IGP said it was Nishantha de Silva., who had been transferred on the orders of the President. The transfer order had been revoked by the very same office that had given it, the IGP added.
The IGP said that on April 9, 2019 he had been informed of the possibility of a terrorist attack by the extremist group led by Zahran’s faction of the Thowheed Jamaath. He said he had taken action to inform other officials. The information had been relayed to him by the Director SIS and the Chief of National intelligence.
“In addition, on April 20 evening around 7.30 or 8.00 pm the Director SIS gave me a phone call and said the following day would be dangerous and something would happen. I conveyed that warning to all relevant Senior DIGs. The following morning around 6.45 or 7.15 the director SIS said again that something dangerous would happen on that day. I again informed relevant junior officers.”
Jayasundera said that President Sirisena following the Easter Sunday carnage had asked him to accept the responsibility for the disaster. “I was told that there would be a presidential committee to probe the incident, I would be found guilty and I would go home without my pension. I was asked to resign and offered an ambassadorial post. I did not accept the offer so the President sent me on compulsory leave.”