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Committee probing Easter Sunday attack to release report on May 6: officials

Colombo | The special panel appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to probe the Easter Sunday terror attacks in Sri Lanka will release its report on May 6 and has recorded statements from several top state authorities, including former defence secretary and the suspended police chief, officials said.

The three member-committee appointed by President Sirisena on April 21 to conduct investigations into the series of suicide attacks on eight places in the country, commenced its works on April 22.

The Special Investigation Committee is headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Vijith K Malalgoda and comprises former Inspector General of Police NK Illangakoon and former Law & Order Ministry Secretary Padmasiri Jayamanne.

The panel is to release its report on May 6, officials said.

Statements from several high-ranking state officials, including the former defense secretary Hemasiri Fernando and the suspended police chief Pujith Jayasundera, have also been recorded, the President’s Media Division said.

While Fernando resigned heeding Sirisena’s call, Jayasundera refused.

He, however, was sent on compulsory leave by Sirisena while appointing an acting police chief.

The special panel was appointed to report on the alleged security lapse which had paved the way for the local jihadist group, National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ) to carry out country’s worst terror attacks that killed over 250 people and injured 500 others.

President Sirisena said a friendly neighbour provided additional information but senior officials did not share the intelligence with him.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also said the he was not privy to the intelligence reports.

The military in the North Province said as a security precaution they have asked all religious places to register with the military all occupants in the respective mosques. The military said a large number of people are being temporarily accommodated at religious sites

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