Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena announced that Colombo has no access to any report which confirms that Sunday Easter Bombers had travelled to India. The Sri Lankan President was earlier on a visit to India to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Indian PM Narendra Modi and his cabinet.
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“I have not received any reports which say that they have travelled to India. My officers have not reported any connection to India up to now,” Sirisena told a news conference at which he spoke in Sinhala.
His remarks were in contradiction to comments by the Sri Lanka Army chief, Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake who said that bombers responsible for the attacks had travelled to Kashmir, Kerala and Bengaluru either for training or to establish links with other organisations.
Sirisena, who was in Delhi for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in along with other leaders from member states of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), said he was not informed by Sri Lanka’s defence chiefs about an alert sent by Indian intelligence agencies more than a fortnight before the April 21 bombings.
Noting that he was in Singapore at the time of the attacks, Sirisena said a “clear report” had been sent on April 4 by Indian intelligence agencies to their Sri Lankan counterparts about a possible attack.
“I was in Sri Lanka from April 4 to April 16…However, none of the defence chiefs informed me about the receipt of such intelligence. Had I known of this possibility, I would have never have left the country. That is why I have taken action to remove the defence secretary and inspector general of police,” he added.