After defence secretary, inspector general Pujith Jayasundara has stepped down over failures that led to the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka
Colombo: Sri Lanka’s inspector general of police Pujith Jayasundara has resigned over the failures that led to the terrorist attacks in the country.
The Easter Sunday attacks took place in three hotels, three churches and a house and killed at least 253 people.
Sri Lanka’s police chief stepped down after the security establishment was unable to avert the terror attack, despite warnings.
President Maithirpala Sirisena, who is also the defence minister, said inspector general of police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara resigned over failures which led to the attacks.
“The IGP has resigned. He has sent his resignation to the acting defence secretary. I’ll nominate a new IGP soon,” the president said.
The police chief’s resignation came a day after the country’s defence secretary Hemasiri Fernando handed over his resignation letter to the president.
Sirisena had asked Fernando and Jayasundara to quit after their failure to prevent the blasts despite having prior intelligence.
Sirisena said the intelligence supplied by a friendly nation was not shared with him by officials. “All they have done was to exchange letters among themselves,” he said.
“I asked both police chief and defence secretary why the information was not shared with me, they remained silent,” he said.
He said the security lapse was also due to the current government’s weakening of intelligence operations.
Sirisena said he would soon set up a joint operations command to combat terrorism and each and every house would be checked for the safety of all citizens.
Top officials have acknowledged that Sri Lanka received intelligence about possible terror strikes ahead of the attacks, but both Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that they did not receive the information.
Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on Easter Sunday.
The president also confirmed that Sri Lankan Islamist extremist Zahran Hashim, the leader of National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), died in the blast at the Shangri-La hotel.
Hashim led the attack on the hotel and was accompanied by a second bomber, Ilham Ahmed Ibrahim.
He said the Sri Lankan Army would continue search operations for suspects linked to the terror group.
Last Updated 6:46 PM IST