They Knew: The Easter Attacks In Sri Lanka
The Parliamentary Select Committee report on the Easter Attacks reads like a conspiracy theory.
A lead investigator is on the trail of a terrorist, but there’s something bigger going on, and it goes all the way up.
The investigation is shut down. The investigator is arrested. As he rots in jail, further reports are buried. The terrorist gets close to his goal, with seeming protection from the very top. Then the bombs go off, and an anti-terrorism candidate starts his own run for the Presidency.
It sounds like a stupid conspiracy theory, but these are all things that happened. This is all in the report. Here is the most damning section, which I’ll reproduce in full:
In such a setting, some pertinent questions must be asked -
Were attempts made by sections in the intelligence community with the possible support from some politicians to undermine ongoing investigations, prevent arrests of alleged perpetrators and not share valuable information?
Was the unrest and communal violence since 2018 a way to exacerbate the uncertainity and create further fear among communities, especially the Muslim community?
Was this to demonstrate the lack of control by the Sirisena-Wickramasinghe government and to amplify calls for a change of regime?
This is also in a setting where incidents of violence and increase communal tensions would take place in the lead upto Presidential elections in late 2019 and Parliamentary elections in 2020 disrupting every day life and instilling fear and apprehension among communities, especially among the minorities. The Easter Sunday attacks and subsequent communal violence in parts of Sri Lanka witnessed new levels of fear among the public and criticism towards the political leadership and security establishment. It was also a time when calls emanated for a change of regime. These cannot be taken as coincidental and must be investigated further. It is also paramount to question the role of some sections in the intelligence apparatus and their attempts to shape security, the electoral process, political landscape and the future of Sri Lanka. (Page 80)
The timeline clearly shows this thing going off the rails, in a way that would have been obvious to the principals at the time. There were numerous reports from the Muslim community about Zahran specifically, and his radicalization of youth. There were murders, explosions and huge amounts of materiel found before the attacks. There were credible and detailed reports of the Easter Attacks including when and where.
There is also a clear record of rails being removed. Of people trying to fight this being blocked, everyone else being sidelined, and all the intelligence falling into an SIS black hole.
The President directly accused and imprisoned the lead investigator, Nalaka de Silva, excluded the Prime Minister and IGP from meetings and brought opposition (SLPP) members in. Bear this in mind, as Zahran unleashed the bombs, it was his investigator in jail, not him. That fact alone boggles the mind.
Sirisena and the SLPP couldn’t succeed in their coup, but they did succeed in controlling and short-circuiting our national security. Despite knowing that exactly what was going to happen on the 21st, the President left the country, and he took plenty of time coming back.
Even after the attacks, the President has continued to distract and deny, even attributing the attacks to drug dealers when, obviously, no. He has released racist rioters from jail and arrested the hapless head of Police and Defence Secretary when it was obviously him and the Director of the SIS most directly to blame.
However, the Prime Minister is also not blameless here. The fact is that we knew we had a dangerous, criminal President last October and he should have been impeached. Parliament should have moved aggressively to impeach the President then, but even now they are giving him a golden parachute rather than rock the boat. It is this desire for every politician to keep their seat that has cost innocent people their heads.
They knew. The people at the top knew, and they let this disaster unfold. And now they — and I mean now the SLPP — are trying to benefit.
There’s a line in The Departed, where Alec Baldwin asks ‘Cui bono? Who benefits?’
Matt Damon, who is actually a criminal, asks ‘Cui gives a shit?’
In this case you have to ask who benefits. The people that broke the national security apparatus benefit from it being broken.
All this blood and destruction has become part of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidential campaign. What the SLPP couldn’t accomplish in a coup, they’ll try through terrorism, pogroms and lies.
It’s not you or me that benefit, but we are being asked to ultimately launder these deeds through an election this November. In a year the SLPP’s greed has crashed our economy, killed hundreds, put minorities at generational risk; and now they want your vote.
What a terrible conspiracy. It would be even more terrible if they got away with it.