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Shani sees no solid evidence about foreign hand in Easter carnage



By Rathindra Kuruwita

The CID had not received concrete evidence of a foreign hand behind the Easter Sunday bombings until he was removed from the CID in November 2019, former CID Director Shani Abeysekera on Monday night told the PCoI investigating the Easter Sunday attacks.

Abeysekera, who is under remand custody, and is currently receiving treatment at Ward 42 of the National Hospital, following a heart attack, testified via Skype. He had earlier contracted COVID-19.

Abeysekera is in remand custody for allegedly fabricating evidence against former DIG Vass Gunawardena.

The Attorney General’s Department officials questioned him first on the killing of two policemen at a road block in Vavunativu and then asked him about the attacks on Mawanella Buddha statues. Abeysekera said that the police had realized the killing of two policemen in Vavunativu had been carried out by the Islamists only after the Easter Sunday attacks.

Abeysekera: “The act of vandalising the Buddha statues took place on 23 December 2018. The investigation was handed over to CID CI Janaka Marasinghe and others. I also went to Mawanella on 26 December.

The Kegalle police had arrested three suspects but failed to hab two brothers, Sadiq and Shaheed Abdul-Haq, who were the main suspects.”

Senior State Counsel: “Did you go to Mannar on 15 January 2019 for an official purpose?

Abeysekera: “A reliable informant told us that Sadiq and Shaheed were about to leave the country by boat from Mannar. So, I went there on 15 January but information was false. But I asked the informant to be vigilant.”

Senior State Counsel: “The following day, i.e. 16 January, there was a detection of explosives in a Jihadist training camp at Wanathawilluwa?”

Abeysekara: “Yes, Marasinghe and his team had made that detection. After I was told that there were explosives, I told them not to search after dark. Former SDIG of CID was then informed and through him STF was deployed there.”

The AG’s Department representative then told Abeysekara that the CID had informed the court of the detection of explosives and the arrest of four suspects only on 31 January 2019, two weeks after the detection.

Abeysekara told the PCoI that there had been a delay but he had no idea why Marasinghe had taken two weeks to inform the court. Around 8,000 investigations were being carried out by the CID at the time and he was not able to oversee all of them.

A Commissioner: “Then who is responsible?

Abeysekara: “CI Marasinghe was in charge of the investigation. So, he is responsible.”

A Commissioner: “There are senior officers above Marasinghe. Don’t they also have a responsibility?”

Abeysekara: “They do have.”

Senior State Counsel: “Did you ever tell Marasinghe not to take notes of the Mawanella  investigation?”

Abeysekara: “No, but even if I had done so, he should not have don so. Without notes, how can he prove that he did an investigation? “

A commissioner then asked Abeysekara whether he had received information about a foreign involvement in the Easter Sunday attacks while he was serving in the CID.

Abeysekara said that on certain occasions there had been some information hinting at a foreign involvement. However nothing concrete came up while he was heading the CID, the witness said.

Abeysekara: “Even foreign investigators were here. They couldn’t uncover anything either. Nothing concrete emerged. I don’t know if new evidence has surfaced now.”

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Foreign News

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger dies aged 100




Henry Kissinger at the State Department's 230th anniversary celebrations in 2019

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has died at the age 100.

He served as America’s top diplomat and national security adviser during the Nixon and Ford administrations.

In a statement, Kissinger Associates, a political consulting firm he founded, said the German-born former diplomat died at his home in Connecticut but did not give a cause of death.

During his decades long career, Mr Kissinger played a key, and sometimes controversial, role in US foreign and security policy.

Born in Germany in 1973, Kissinger first came to the US in 1938 when his family fled Nazi Germany. He became a US citizen in 1943 and went on to serve three years in the US Army and later in the Counter Intelligence Corps. After earning bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees, he taught international relations at Harvard.

In 1969, then-President Richard Nixon appointed him National Security Adviser, a position which gave him enormous influence over US foreign policy in two administrations.


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Rupees 1,500 million allocated for ‘Greater Kandy Urban Development Program’ – State Minister for Provincial Councils and Local Government




State Minister for Provincial Council and Local Government  Janaka Wakkambura participating in a Press Briefing held at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) on Wednesday (29) under the theme ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’,  announced that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has allocated Rs. 1,500 million for the “Greater Kandy Urban Development Program” in this year’s budget and that part of the allocation would to be utilized to develop the approach roads to Kandy City.

He also announced that the President had allocated  Rs. 1,000 million to develop tourism by enhancing facilities through the involvement of local government bodies.

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DMT unable to print nearly one million driving licences for want of blank cards



Racketeers thrive on illegal printing of DLs

By Shiran Ranasinghe

The Department of Motor Traffic was unable to print about 900,000 driving licences due for want of blank plastic cards, Commissioner General of the Department of Motor Traffic Nishantha Weerasinghe told The Island.

He said his Department was doing its best to solve the problem, which could be sorted out in six months or so.

A senior official on condition of anonymity said the Department now printed about 200 driving licences for those who were going abroad or engaged in essential services.

However, some racketeers were printing about 700 licences illegally, he said.

Rs 5,000 each was charged for issuing illegally printed licences, the official said.

Commenting on the allegations, the Commissioner General of the Department of Motor Traffic said he will investigate the matter if he receives a complaint officially.

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