The Sri Lanka government announced on Wednesday that a special parliamentary committee is to be established to probe allegations made by UK media outlet Channel 4 regarding the complicity of Sri Lanka’s top intelligence official in the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings, which had killed more than 200 people.
The 2019 Easter Sunday attacks involved six suicide bombings targeting three churches and three luxury hotels in various cities across Sri Lanka during Easter celebrations, causing at least 290 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Channel 4 released a video on Tuesday featuring their interview with a Sri Lankan man, Azad Maulana, who had accused a government and military intelligence official, with whom he had arranged a meeting, of being complicit in the attacks. He further alleged that the purpose of the attacks was to create fears surrounding national security in order to help elect former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was once a defense official in the country. Rajapaksa took office as president in November 2019 and was replaced by Ranil Wickremesinghe in July 2022.
Rajapaksa denied the allegations on Thursday and called Maulana’s claims “absurd.” He further claimed that the named official had informed Chanel 4 that he was not even present in Sri Lanka at the time when the alleged meeting was carried out.