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Minister Alles faults Church for denying govt. opportunity to sort out crucial issues

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Tiran Alles

… says ex-SIS head facing disciplinary inquiry

Easter Sunday carnage:

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Public Security Minister Tiran Alles yesterday (28) alleged that the Catholic Church hadn’t given the government an opportunity to thrash out all issues regarding the continuing controversy surrounding the 2019 Easter Sunday carnage.

Minister Alles claimed that an opportunity had been sought after the entire report, including the sections that hadn’t been available to the Church, was handed over.

Unfortunately, the Church, instead of sitting down with the government, and law enforcement authorities involved in the investigations, to frankly discuss all outstanding issues, had turned down that request, Minister Alles said.

The Minister said so addressing the media at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) yesterday afternoon. Responding to a query, Alles declared that 99 percent of the CID investigation into the 2019 suicide bombings was over.

Alles found fault with the Church for repeating accusations without cooperating with the government to ascertain the truth. Suicide blasts claimed the lives of nearly 270 people, whereas over 400 suffered injuries.

Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith on Sunday (27) reiterated that justice had been denied to the victims. The Cardinal insisted that their grievances be met without further delay.

Minister Alles said that Dappula de Livera, PC, who declared that the Easter Sunday carnage had been a grand conspiracy obtained a court order when the police wanted to record his statement regarding the claim. Pointing out that the ex-AG made that declaration on the eve of his retirement, Minister Alles said police investigations were hampered by their failure to record the retired official’s statement.

Asked to explain the failure on the part of the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa government to act on the Presidential Commission report on the Easter Sunday carnage, particularly about not taking action in respect of former head of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena, Minister Alles claimed that the National Police Commission (NPC) was inquiring into his lapses.

The media pointed out that in spite of the damning Presidential Commission findings in respect of the then head of the SIS, Senior DIG Jayawardena continued to hold a top position in the Department. Minister Alles said that he was now facing a disciplinary inquiry, conducted by the NPC.

Minister Alles also dealt with the discharging of former Director of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Shani Abeysekara and Sub-Inspector Sugath Mendis by the Gampaha Magistrate’s Court pertaining to a case involving ex-DIG Vaas Gunawardena.

Asked whether action would be taken against the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) for falsely implicating the top cop, Minister Alles said that the police outfit still stood by its findings. The Minister pointed out that the Attorney General twice, in the High Court and the Court of Appeal, very clearly stood by the CCD, though all of a sudden he changed his stance, thereby paving the way for discharging the suspects.

DIG Vaas Gunawardena was convicted and sentenced to death for the abduction and murder of Colombo-based businessman Mohamed Shiyam as a contract killing for $50,000 in May 2013.

Minister Alles said that the CCD furnished a comprehensive dossier on SSP Abeysekera to the AG when the issue was taken up.

The Minister stressed that the court declared that depending on the developments, the case could be filed again.

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