Connect with us

News

Zahran had a free run in conducting terrorist training camps across country

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) leader Zahran Hashim and his associates had operated 10 training centres in 2018 in the Nuwara-Eliya, Hambantota and Mawanella areas, the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks was told yesterday.

Sub Inspector of Police (SI) Srimal Sanjeewa Sampath of the CID attached to the PCoI said that five camps had been located in Hambantota, three in Nuwara Eliya and one in Mawanella.

SI Sampath said he had conducted investigations into five camps conducted by Zahran and his associates at Sippikulam, Hambantota. A large house belonging to a person named Sayyadu Mohammad Fauzan Maulana had been acquired by Zahran and his group for a short term stay through the caretaker of the house, Sayyadu Masoor Maulana.

The first camp in Hambantota was held from 7 to 8 July, 2018, the second camp from 20 to 22 July, the third camp from 26 to 28 August, the fourth camp from 3 to 4 November and the fifth camp from 1 to 3 December, 2018, he said.

The witness said that between 20 and 40 individuals had undergone training at each of those camps and vans had been used to transport participants. He added that training on the use of T-56 assault rifles and pistols had been imparted by a person named Mohamed Ahmad Milhan.

SI Sampath said that Zahran had lectured on Islamist extremism and Zahran’s mentor, Mohammed Ibrahim Nawfar had lectured on the Islamic State (IS) organization at these camps.

He also said Zahran’s brother Rilwan Hashim and Atchchi Muhammadu Muhammadu Hastun too had trained participants on bomb making and use of explosives. The witness also said that they had preached about clashes between Muslims and Sinhalese that took place in Kandy, Digana and Beruwala areas.

Sampath added, “Zaharan’s elder brother, Mohamed Zeini alias Sinna Moulavi and Alawdeen Ahmed Muad, who carried out the suicide bombing at St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade attended the training camps. In addition, the main suspects in destroying several Buddha statues in the Mawanella in December 2018, had also participated in training sessions,”

Zahran and his team had also run two training camps at the “Blue Eye Lodge” in Blackpool, Nuwara-Eliya.

The two training camps had been run at the location from 6 to 7 September, and from 16 to 18 November 2018. Between 20 and 25 persons had participated in those camps.  Those who participated had been given lectures on IS, Islamist extremism, and weapons training. Another training programme was held at Thakshila Holiday Inn in Nuwara-Eliya in May 2018.

He also said that Sadiq had also preached extremism at a workshop for students who were scheduled to sit the Ordinary Level examination at a Thowheed mosque in the Delgahagoda area in Hingula from 14 to 18 December, 2018. About 30 students had attended the lecture. They were residents of Mawanella and Kadugannawa areas, the witness said.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Pakistan Navy ship arrives in Colombo

Published

on

Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Taimur arrived, at the port of Colombo, on a formal visit, yesterday morning (12). The visiting ship was welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy, in compliance with naval traditions.The 134m-long ship is commanded by Captain M. Yasir Tahir and it is manned by 169 as the ship’s complement.

The Commanding Officer of PNS Taimur is scheduled to call on Commander Western Naval Area, at the Western Naval Command Headquarters, today. The ship is expected to remain in the island, until 15th August, and the crew of the ship will take part in several programmes, organized by the Sri Lanka Navy, to promote cooperation and goodwill between the two navies.

PNS Taimur is also expected to conduct a naval exercise with the Sri Lanka Navy in western seas on its departure on 15th August.

Meanwhile, PNS Tughril, an identical warship belonging to the Pakistan Navy, arrived in Sri Lanka on an official visit on 13th December 2021 and conducted a successful naval exercise with SLNS Sindurala off the western coast on 16th December. Naval exercises of this nature with regional navies will enable each partner to overcome common maritime challenges in the future, through enhanced cooperation.

Continue Reading

News

Stalin reads riot act to govt. over proposal to allow schoolchildren to work part time

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Alliance of Trade Unions and Mass Organisations yesterday warned that the government’s decision to allow schoolchildren, between the ages of 16 and 20, to work part time, would have disastrous consequences.Addressing the media on 11 Aug., General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union, Joseph Stalin, said that the government was planning to amend laws, allowing schoolchildren to work in the private sector for 20 hours a week.

“Now, this may look like a progressive idea. A lot of families are

struggling and if another family member can chip in, it would be a great help. I am sure a lot of children feel the same way. It is also true that there may be children who will find great jobs and horn their skills,” he said.However, these proposals have come at a time when education is in crisis and the schools are on the verge of collapse.

“During the last two and a half years, most children have learnt nothing. But children who go to elite schools are doing better. These schools have systems in place, but most others don’t. Children who do not go to tier one schools have suffered and most children who do not go to such elite schools will not find part time work that will prepare them for the jobs of the future,” he said. “It’s not easy to balance school work with vocation training, especially physically intensive work. Most people will drop out and social mobility will further stagnate. Fix the education system first and create a more level playing field,” Stalin said.

Continue Reading

News

Harsha: Will RW use Emergency to steamroller his economic reforms?

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

SJB MP Harsha de Silva yesterday asked President Ranil Wickremesinghe whether the latter was planning to use Emergency powers to suppress the people who might oppose his economic reform agenda.

“It is being asked why the government wants to continue the State of Emergency. The anti-government protesters have gone home. There is no unrest. There are those who say that the President wants to keep the Emergency laws to carry out economic reforms. Does that mean the President will use these laws to scare people into submission if they do not accept his economic reforms? I don’t think people can be intimidated. I want the President to answer this question,” he said.

MP de Silva said that the government did not have public support and that it was obvious that the spectre of the Rajapaksas was haunting the government.

“I agree that Wickremesinghe was appointed constitutionally. We have to work within the Constitution. However, the 134 votes he received on 20 July were not realistic. They have managed to manipulate the Constitution, but the government doesn’t have the support of the people. The problem is can the government win the support of the people,” he said.The SJB lawmaker added that Sri Lanka needed to restructure its debt. However, the country had not even started the process.

“One of the consultants we hired, Lazard, says that we have to start with China because it is new to debt restructuring. But we have not done so. Not only that, we have in fact started a diplomatic issue with China. What’s the front page news today? Can this government solve this sensitive international issue? Can it carry out the necessary economic reforms?” he asked.

MP de Silva said that the government had to work with the people and that it had to be honest with them. The government needed to present a common programme on which an all party government could be established.

“In 2020, we said that the government was on the wrong path and that we needed to seek IMF assistance. The government didn’t listen. We need an all-party programme to go before the IMF and get a decent deal. Today, I present to Parliament an economic recovery plan we have prepared. When we decided to throw our weight behind SLPP MP Dullas Alahapperuma, I was entrusted with the task of making an economic plan. We have run it through experts too. I ask the MPs to look at this and suggest improvements.”

Continue Reading

Trending