Sri Lanka: Senior officials arrested in Easter Sunday Bombing case

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s suspended police chief and former Defence Secretary were arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department. They were arrested on Tuesday for their alleged failure to prevent the Easter Sunday bombings that claimed nearly 260 lives.

The arrests of Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando are a huge step in Easter Sunday bombing case.

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The arrests were made almost a day after the Attorney-General termed their alleged failure to act on security warnings a “crime against humanity”. “The two officials should be brought before a magistrate for their criminal negligence to prevent the April 21 attacks,” Attorney-General Dappula de Livera told the acting police chief in a letter.

Previously, Jayasundara had refused to take responsibility and step down as ordered by President Maithripala Sirisena. He was sent on compulsory leave. Meanwhile, Hemasiri Fernando had resigned post-attack.

In June, both Jayasundara and Fernando testified before a parliamentary panel probing the blasts and pointed to the serious gaps in acting on intelligence.

Confirming that intelligence on a possible attack was available since April 9, they said it was shared among top police and defence officials, on the eve and morning of the bombings. Finally, the two Sri Lankan officials were arrested on Tuesday.

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