Sri Lanka is still threatened by terrorist attacks by ISIS: Prime Minister Wickremesinghe
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe On Tuesday, The Authorities Said That All Militants Responsible For The Deadly Easter Blasts Had Been Arrested Or Killed, But Warned That The Country Was Still Facing The Threat Of ISIS Terrorist Attacks.
During A Debate In The House Of Representatives On The Current Security Situation In The Country, Wickremesinghe Said That All Those Who Were Directly Connected With The Easter Sunday Attacks Were Killed Or Taken Into Custody.
Nine Suicide Bombers Carried Out A Series Of Devastating Explosions That Tore Through Three Churches And Three Luxury Hotels On Easter Sunday. The Islamic State Claimed The Attacks, But The Government Blamed The Local Islamic Extremist Group National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) For The Bombings That Killed More Than 250 People.
Wickremesinghe Said Research Showed That The Bombers Had Direct Or Indirect Links With The Islamic State And That The Island Nation Needed Advanced Technology To Tackle The Threat Of Such Terror Networks.
The Danger Is Not Over Yet, We Are Now A Victim Of Global Terrorism, He Said.
He Said That Sri Lanka Must Work With The International Community To Deal With The Global Threat Of Terrorism.
Some Assume That Cooperation With The International Community Means That Foreign Troops Are Being Brought Down. That Doesn't Happen, He Said.
His Comments Came As Sri Lanka Police And Military Chiefs Assured That The Country Is Now Safe And Can Get Back To Normalcy.
During A Press Conference On Monday Evening, The Tri-troops Commanders And The Police Chief Stated That The Security Of The Country After The April 21 Bombings Was Assured With Adequate Measures And That Steps Were Taken To Implement A Special Security Plan.
Police Inspector General (IGP) Chandana Wickremaratne Said All Those Who Are Directly Associated With The Attacks On Three Churches And Three Luxury Hotels Have Been Arrested Or Perished.
He Also Said That All Explosives Believed To Be Connected To The Local Islamic Outfit National Thowheeth Jama ' Ath (NTJ), Accused Of The Attacks, Have Been Found.
All Explosives In Possession Of The Terrorist Group Have Been Seized. Almost Everyone Identified With The Group Has Been Arrested. Two Of Their Bomb Experts Died During The Skirmishes. The Police Are Happy To Announce That Everyone With Direct Links Has Now Been Arrested Or Killed, He Said.
Wickramaratne Has Not Said How Many People Are Arrested About The Bombings, But Police Spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera Has Said That 73 People, Including Nine Women, Are Arrested And Interrogated By The CID And The Terrorist Investigation Department (TID).
The Spokesperson Also Said That The Identified More Than Rs 140 Million Cash And Other Assets Worth Rs 7 Billion Belonging To The NTJ.
Wickramaratne, Who Was Appointed Acting Police Chief Last Week After President Suspended His Predecessor Because Of His Failure To Act Based On Intelligence Warnings About The Attacks, Said The Country Can Now Return To Normal By Eliminating Evening Clocks Imposed After The Attacks .
He Urged The Public Not To Be Misled By Unverified Reports.
The Government Reopened The Schools On Monday, But The Attendance Dropped To Below 10 Percent In Many Places, While Parents Were Still Afraid Of Attacks.
Wickremeratne Said That A Joint Security Operation With School Authorities Is In Progress. He Pointed To Unverified Security Fears Spread Through Social Media As The Cause Of Unfounded Security Issues
Army Chief Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake Said The Army Has Taken Steps To Safeguard National Security Under The Emergency Arrangement.
He Said That over the past two weeks normalcy was returning to the country and the public must not be misled by false claims.
All Security Measures To Ensure Security In The Country Have Been Taken. The Security Forces Were Authorized By The Emergency Regulations Since The Attacks, Senanayake Said.
The Leaders Of The Tourism Industry Have Urged The Government To Take Vigorous Measures To Enable The Industry To Revive After The Easter Sunday Attacks At Three Leading Hotels.
The Suicide Terrorists Attacked Breakfast Rooms Of The Shangri La, The Cinnamon Grand And The Hotels.
The Attacks Including 44 Foreigners Including 11 Indians Killed Provided Unfavorable Travel Advice.
" At The Moment, Most Bookings Are Canceled, With Less Than 10 Percent Of The Occupation, We Are In Trouble, Chairman Of The Hoteliers Association Sanath Ukawatta Said.
The Government Has Already Approved A Package Of Concessions To The Tourism Industry, Which Contributes 5 Percent Of The Island's GDP.
The Tourism Authority Said That The Total Number Of Tourists Arrived In April 166,975. This Is A 7.5% Decrease On An Annual Basis, Since The Arrivals In April 2018 Were 180,429.
Meanwhile, The Church Of St. Anthony Is Partially Open For Worship On Tuesday. Enthusiasts Can Visit St. Anthony's Sanctuary In Kotahena From 7 Am To 7 Pm.
Services Are Not Kept In The Shrine. The Navy Is Currently Carrying Out Restoration Activities In The Church.
Security Measures Have Been Tightened Around The Churches To Ensure The Safety Of Devotees Visiting The Sanctuary.