Blaming the Easter Sunday attacks on policy shortcomings, alternative presidential hopeful and former intelligence bigwig Dr. Ajith Colonne yesterday rejected claims of state intelligence being weakened due to the prosecution of a few bad actors.
The former State Intelligence Service (SIS) Deputy Director, speaking at a National People’s Movement (NPM) forum in Kurunegala, said intelligence operatives had done their job in gathering intelligence prior to the attack.
“One of the main reasons for the Easter attack was the lack of proper defence policy. Intelligence operatives had found the information; they did their job to the letter. But beyond that, there was no clarity on who should take action or who should report to whom,” he said.
Dr. Colonne said assertions that the Easter bombings occurred due to an alleged weakening and destabilising of the intelligence agencies resulted in a manufactured controversy.
“I reject that theory completely. A weakening of the intelligence services simply did not occur,” he said.
Dr. Colonne, whose name is among those being considered for the presidential candidacy of the NMP, noted that a small number of intelligence officers had implicated themselves in murder and kidnapping cases.
“There is evidence against one group for directing murders between 2010 and 2015. There was no personal reason for any of these officers to carry out these murders. It is clear that it was at the behest of someone,” he said.
The percentage of these errant officers among the entire fraternity is 2-3% at worst, he added.
“Intelligence officials are obligated to follow government orders. Sometimes these orders can be unofficial, but they should know better than to do anyone’s bidding or do things not in their job description,” said Dr. Colonne.
“If an officer is condemned of such an act, the government need not step in to protect them,” he added.