Former Cheif of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena lost his composure yesterday when being cross-examined by the counsel appearing on behalf of former Cheif of National Intelligence (CNI) DIG (Rtd.) Sisira Mendis. Jayawardena was appearing before the commission for the 18th consecutive day.
Shanaka Ranasinghe PC appearing for Mendis questioned Jayawardena as to why he did not attempt to inform the President’s Secretary of the impending attack. “With definite information in the hand of an attack on April 21, why did you not call the Secretary to the President and request that a state of emergency be declared and take steps to get the assistance of the forces to maintain peace?” Ranasinghe asked.
Losing his composure Jayawardena responded “I was asked if I told this information to the President, the Prime minister, the Secretary of Defence, the IGP, the CNI. Now you’re asking me if I told the President’s Secretary. Must I be the one to tell all these people? Next, you will ask me, Nilantha why did you not tell the whole country?”
“Must the Director of the SIS gather information, inform and send letters? So are others being paid to not do anything? There is a hierarchy in the system. If I have to carry out the duties of the President, Prime Minister, Secretary of Defence and the IGP then there would be no need for them. Then you might as well had made me President” he said emphatically.
“I am disappointed that he had to work with a team like this. It is only after April 21 I realized who these people really are. If I did not take screenshots of the calls I made then the SIS would have been accused of doing nothing. If I did not have the WhatsApp messages to prove what I am saying I would be in prison” he said.
At the commission, Jayawardena revealed that no senior official had requested further reports on the intelligence reports sent by him since 2015. He said only the IGP had called for further reports and that too only a handful of times.
“No one called for further reports on the prior warning report sent. If they can prove that they did call for further reports then I will resign from service now” he said.
“I did what I could. I informed the IGP, CNI, Secretary of Defence, After that I even tried to tell the President. If he did not take my calls it is not my fault. I did what I can for the best of my abilities” he added.