Tuesday 18 June 2019
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The News - 5 days ago

?Easter bombers on Sri Lanka payroll?

COLOMBO: The extremists behind Sri Lanka s deadly Easter bombings received funding from state intelligence services, a top Muslim leader told a parliamentary investigation. The comments by Azath Salley, who quit last week as governor of Western Province, added to evidence of massive security failings before the April 21 attacks that killed 258 people.The bombings were led by Zahran Hashim, a radical who broke from the Sri Lanka Thowheeth Jama ath (SLTJ) to form an extremist group, the National Thowheeth Jama ath (NTJ). Salley told the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) that he repeatedly told President Maithripala Sirisena to take action against the group. The defence ministry paid the Thowheeth Jama ath. The police worked closely with the Thowheeth Jama ath, Salley said, according to a transcript of his remarks. Salley said the former government of Mahinda Rajapakse in office until 2015 funded Thowheeth Jama ath through military intelligence, a practice continued by the new administration. Salley said that the funding was to spy on other groups. Salley also said that a week before the attacks, he met with top defence officials to warn them about the activities of radicals and impending dangers. If the police had taken action on the information I provided at the time, we would have been able to avoid this disaster, he said.

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