Call for Fresh Investigation into Alleged Meeting Between Sri Lankan Foreign Minister and Easter Sunday Attacker

-By A Staff Writer

(Lanka-e-News -17.June.2024, 5.30 PM) Colombo, Sri Lanka - The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has raised critical questions about whether the current Foreign Minister, Ali Sabri, met with Easter Sunday attacker Zahran Hashim and counter-terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratne. The Church is demanding a fresh investigation to uncover the reasons behind such a meeting, especially considering Ali Sabri's role as the legal advisor to then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the time.

The Church's concerns center on why these individuals would have met with Zahran in Colombo prior to the attacks. The devastating Easter Sunday bombings claimed victims from numerous countries, including the USA, UK, various European nations, India, and China. Consequently, there is significant international interest in establishing any connections with the attackers and identifying those who funded their operations.

Adding to the urgency, the Catholic Church is also exploring whether the Bora community in Colombo, known for their close ties to India, had any financial involvement in supporting Zahran's plans. Witness statements, such as those from a gentleman named Maulana, have indicated that close associates of Gotabaya Rajapaksa met with Zahran and his team multiple times before the attacks.

This call for a renewed investigation underscores the importance of transparency and accountability. The international community, alongside the affected nations, is keen to understand the full scope of any relationships or support networks connected to the Easter Sunday attackers. The demand for clarity on why Sri Lanka’s current Foreign Minister Ali Sabri and counter-terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratne met with Zahran is vital to ensure justice and prevent future threats.

Given these serious allegations and the widespread impact of the attacks, a thorough and impartial investigation is necessary. The global community awaits further developments and the establishment of the truth regarding these meetings.

British TV report alleges a top Sri Lankan intelligence official hatched the deadly Easter Sunday bombings plot to help Rajapaksa win the election.

A man interviewed in the Channel 4 videos released on September -2023 said he arranged a meeting between a local ISIL (ISIS)-inspired group and a top state intelligence official to hatch a plot to create insecurity in Sri Lanka and enable Gotabaya Rajapaksa to win the presidential election later that year.

Azad Maulana was a spokesman for a breakaway group of the Tamil Tiger rebels that later became a pro-state armed group and helped the government defeat the rebels and win Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war in 2009.

Rajapaksa was a top defence official during the war, and his older brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, had been defeated in the 2015 elections after 10 years in power.

A group of Sri Lankans inspired by the ISIL group carried out the six near-simultaneous suicide bombings in churches and tourist hotels on April 21, 2019.

The attacks killed 269 people, including worshippers at Easter Sunday services, locals and foreign tourists, and revived memories of frequent bombings during the quarter-century war.

Fears about national security enabled Rajapaksa to sweep to power. He was forced to resign last year after mass protests over the country’s worst economic crisis.

In the Channel 4 programme, Maulana said he arranged a meeting in 2018 between ISIL-inspired fighters and a top intelligence officer at the behest of his boss at the time, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, the leader of the rebel splinter group-turned-political party.

Maulana said Chandrakanthan had met the group in prison while in detention on allegations of murder and found they could be useful in creating insecurity in the country.

-By A Staff Writer

by     (2024-06-17 12:09:25)

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