Colombo, Feb 24 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government has set up a Task Force to expedite the ongoing probe into the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks on churches and hotels that claimed over lives.
The six-member Task Force, established by the Ministry of Defence and headed by the Chief of National Intelligence Major General Jagath Alwis, has been instructed to submit weekly reports to the Defence Secretary Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, the Colombo Page newspaper said in a report on Sunday.
The Task Force was set up following a directive by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to ensure speedy investigations into the attacks that took place in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa, Major General Gunaratne said.
“The CID investigation into these attacks was not conducted in an effective way during the last regime. If we fail to conduct a proper investigation, we are not doing justice to those innocent people who died and over 500 victims who are living with life-long serious scars and injuries due to the deadly bomb explosions,” the Colombo Page quoted the Defence Secretary as saying on Sunday.
“President Rajapaksa had instructed us to secure the contribution of all intelligence agencies which come under the Defence Ministry to identify, collect authentic information related to the attacks, and gather new information and evidence to take legal action against all those involved in supporting the extremists who carried out the attacks.”
The development came after the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, said last week that the island nation’s Catholic community was dissatisfied with the investigations being carried out.
“The attacks need to be investigated thoroughly. We want to know the truth about the persons behind the attacks, who funded them and who inspired them,” the Cardinal told the media.
A local extremist group named the National Tawheed Jammaat were identified to be responsible for the April 21, 2019 suicide attacks.