The Sri Lankan Parliament Committee report on the Easter Sunday attack has said that the Indian High Commission was a potential target of the terror attack on the island state that killed over 350 people and left, over 500 injured on 21 April this year.
The 272-page report submitted on Wednesday by the nine-member Parliamentary Select committee referred to intelligence reports suggesting that a hotel frequented by Indians was also a likely target of the terror attack.
The report read: “Parliament cannot recommend the perpetrators of this attack. That power is in the court. The task of the Select Committee was to find out where were the shortcomings, negligence and weaknesses,” Chairman of the PSC and Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri said in the court.
“The PSC also notes that intelligence information received indicated that the Indian High Commission was one of the potential targets and that it is surprising an intelligence official who is a prominent part within the intelligence apparatus in Sri Lanka was not aware of the possible links between the intelligence information received, source, potential target etc,” the report read.
On April 21, Easter Sunday, the terrorist group NTJ had targeted Easter worshipers and high-end hotels hosting international guests with coordinated explosions. The series of blasts was carried out across 8 locations in three different cities including Colombo. St Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and a church in the eastern town of Batticaloa were targeted during Easter mass.
Further, three more explosions hit Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand, and Kingsbury, all five-star hotels.
The PSC report admits to intelligence failure at several level. It says that the director of SIS (State Intelligence Service) failed to notify the concerened individuals after he recieved the warning on April 4. It also says that the SIS failed to act on intelligence gained after teh April 16 explosion in Kattanakudi.
According to the details which unfolded gradually, the Islamic State (ISIS) had claimed responsibility for the dastardly attack.
It was earlier reported that even India had shared the intelligence input on April 4 that the Islamic group National Thowheed Jamath might carry out attacks in Churches and a hotel frequented by Indian nationals but the country did not pay any attention to the warnings thinking that India was attempting to create enmity between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Sri Lanka’s PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has reportedly admitted that they had been warned about possible attacks by an Islamist terrorist group. PM Wickremesinghe stated that despite the warning by intelligence agencies, Sri Lanka ‘failed’ to take adequate measures.
Consequently, Sri Lanka paid a heavy price for ignoring intelligence warnings. India is now providing intelligence assistance to Sri Lanka in the investigation of the Easter terror attacks.