January 19, 2020
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    April 30, 2019

    The Entire Security apparatus of the country will be revamped in the face of threats posed by the Islamic State terrorists,” President Maithripala Sirisena said, addressing state media heads yesterday. He said, so far the Security Forces have rendered an excellent service and taken into custody several key people involved in the Easter Sunday carnage that killed over 250 people, including foreign nationals.

    As part of the reorganisation, the President has already appointed former Army Commander General Shantha Kottegoda as Defence Secretary and former Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangakoon as Defence Ministry advisor. He also said that he had appointed Senior DIG C.D.Wickremaratne to act as the IGP in place of Pujitha Jayasundera.
    “Jayasundera was sent on compulsory leave after he decided to stay on despite being asked to resign. We discussed the matter with the Attorney General and placed him on compulsory leave,” the President said. The President also denied some website reports which alleged that he was informed of the imminent threat of the Easter Sunday carnage. He said that it was a total falsehood and he learned that there is some connection between the deposed IGP and the author of the story.
    “We have also set up a Joint Operations Command (JOC) on Sunday. It will coordinate with all provinces with direct links with the Eastern Province,” he said. “The operation in Sainthamaruthu in Samanthurai was a success and definitely it was a severe blow to the IS terrorists,” he stressed. The President added that some in the private media are attempting to create a fear psychosis among the people. “Many people have queued up to ask for their own security but what is important is the security of the people,” he said.
    “Let the Parliamentarians stay at home. What we have to do is to normalize the situation and the people should be geared to face the challenges. We will restore normalcy as soon as possible,” the President said. The President said lifting of curfew shows that the security of the country has improved. “I came after an interview with a CNN team. “They put forward a barrage of questions to me. The first question was as to why I did not resign after the Easter Sunday catastrophe,” he said. “I told them when the World Trade Centre in New York was attacked, the US President did not resign. What the people wanted was to crush terrorism,” he said. He said bombs have gone off in the country under the watch of every President of the country. Although the former Defence Secretary is boasting, he also faced a bomb attack under his own watch and was injured at one time. “I will not leave this problem to another President. Some people want to know when I am going. I will go at the right time,” the President said

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