President disapproves revealing state intelligence information at Select Committee

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has refused to allow any police military or intelligence personnel to testify say officials. — Reuters  File

However, Secretary of Defence General Shantha Kottegoda later clarified that Mendis resigned.

Sirisena said last week that he had met with the national police chief and his top brass 13 days before the Easter Sunday attacks but no officer had raised the warnings which had been relayed by India.

The United Kingdom has relaxed its travel advisory to Sri Lanka imposed after Easter Sunday attacks and is no longer advising against non-essential travel but is warning of possible further attacks.

Following the development, there were conflicting reports on the action taken against Mendis.

The President also noting that so far the witnesses summoned to the PSC were officers who were removed from the service, said no official of the security forces now in service will be presented to the Select Committee and he will accept the responsibility for all of them.

Mendis said that when he brought up the warnings during a meeting on April 9, director of the State Intelligence Service Nilantha Jayawardena, the direct link to the president, told him Sirisena had already been briefed.

The President handed over Rs. 2.5 million financial assistance to the families of the police officers who were killed in the April 21 attacks.

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Last week, Sirisena's intelligence chief Sisira Mendis told the committee that the president had failed to hold regular security review meetings to assess the potential threat from Islamic radicals.

On Friday (June 7) evening, Sirisena summoned an emergency cabinet meeting and said that police, military, intelligence officials and ministers will not testify before the PSC.

Sirisena promised to protect officers who refuse to attend the committee hearings, according to the police.

A local miitant organization and the Daesh group claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks.

The Sri Lankan police have made elaborate security arrangements for Narendra Modi's visit including restriction in traffic movement during the day.

After the attacks, Indian agencies informed their Sri Lankan counterparts of the arrest of the key plotter of the bombing at Shangri La hotel by Saudi police, the officials cited above said.

Sri Lanka has been under a state of emergency since the attacks.

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