Yet another commission to investigate Easter Sunday attacks

Monday, 23 September 2019 02:27 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Five members headed by CA judge given six months to compile report
  • They will inquire into attacks as well as racial incidents that followed
  • COI asked to identify public officials who may have failed in duty that led to attack
  • Findings to be forwarded to AG for legal action 

President Maithripala Sirisena appointed yet another Commission of Inquiry (COI) to look into the Easter Sunday terror attacks on Saturday, just three months after a Committee appointed by him handed in its report.

The five-member Commission of Inquiry appointed under the Commission of Inquiry Act came a day after a Parliamentary Select Committee probing the attacks recorded the testimony of President Sirisena.

The Commission is chaired by Judge of the Court of Appeal Janak de Silva while its other members are CA Judge Nissanka Bandula Karunarathna, retired CA Judge Nihal Sunil Rajapaksa, Retired High Court Judge Bandula Kumara Atapattu and retired Ministry Secretary W.M.M. Adikari.

The Commissioners have been tasked with investigating ad inquiring into the terror attacks as well as the subsequent racial attacks that took place and take necessary action to enable future legal action in relation to the attacks.

These include calling for reports on several matter including receiving public complaints, information and other materials against public servants/officers or other persons who were working at that time or who still work or any other persons who are alleged to have direct or indirect connections to the bomb explosion that took place on 21 April.

The Commission’s other objectives are as follows: 

n To identify persons and organisations who are directly or indirectly connected to these terrorist acts

nTo identify officers and authorities responsible who failed to predetermine that a terrorist and extremist activities of this nature would take place within the country and failed or neglected to take action according to law and not taking proper actions in this regard

nTo identify all authorities who are responsible for failure to prevent the terrorist attacks that took place on 21 April and to identify the authorities who failed to perform their duties and did not take proper action due to incapacity

nTo identify persons and organisations who are connected with public protests, acts of sabotage, causing damages to properties and persons and thereby causing public unrest after the attack took place on 21 April

nTo identify persons, organisations, who aided and abetted actions which caused racial and religious disturbances or give support for such acts within the country and which created public unrest and which disturbed social order and disrupted the social integrity and caused racial disturbances

nTo transmit to the Attorney General (AG) such material on investigations and inquiry, enabling the AG to consider the institution of criminal proceedings against persons alleged to have committed the offences

The Commission has also been asked to make recommendations on measures to be taken to prevent the possible damage to national security and national unity by such acts of terrorism and extremism.

The Commission has been asked to submit the first Interim Report within three months, a subsequent Interim Report in two months and the final Report within six months.